How’s it going? I wanted to chat a bit more about Before I Fall, especially since I took a look at more of it.
And it has great application for fiction writers and copywriters, of course.
Let’s get to it (and I was right, which I’ll get to, too).
The rest of the story with little sister hanging out redux is one of the most important. Sam meets the little sister of the girl who’s going to kill herself later, and gives the little sis a cryptic warning that she hopes the teased girl will get, and then won’t go through with it.
She even goes to the girl’s house later, and tries to stop her there, but she’s missed. She sees how awful the home is based on what’s not inside–especially the picture frame that never had the stock picture swapped out for something else. The teased girl’s mom is being all quiet moving around the house, and Sam remembers that the dad might have/has a drinking problem.
Sam races to the party, finds the teased girl, who somehow locks herself in the bathroom. After a bit, Sam discovers Teased Girl popped open the window and hopped outside.
Everything ends the same way…
Except that a friend of Sam’s is in the passenger seat and gets killed instead.
From outside the car, Sam finally remembers what her friend was yelling right as she swerved…the last name of the teased girl.
So that means that the original day and replay #1 still ended with the teased girl killing herself–Sam just witnessed those times from inside the car as the girl threw herself in front of it.
(That’s what I ended up being right about–the fact that this book is about the teased girl.)
Sam ends up sleeping at Party Dude’s house, but not before he brings up an old memory they both have and says he’s always wanted to be her hero in life (confessed while holding her hands, if I got that right).
The next repeat is where things really shook up. After realizing (and sorta lying/not lying) about her boyfriend dumping her on the little sis hangout redux, Sam actually dumps/embarrasses him–first at the party, by not giving him a rose, and then in a rather embarrassing way by making him think things were going to happen between them that really weren’t.
Sam also buys the teased girl a load of roses in secret.
To Sam’s dismay, Teased Girl takes the roses as an insult–a final stab to her already shattered self-image.
What really blew the lid off was the fact that Teased Girl revealed that the Queen Bee of Sam’s group had an embarrassing secret that she’d blamed Teased Girl for…
A secret she hadn’t betrayed since she sucked in that false accusation 8 years before. But in return for her loyalty, Teased Girl picked up more teasing, false accusations, and other things piling on that weren’t true, all through middle school and high school.
Which was why she couldn’t handle it anymore…and what’s worse, Sam actually confirmed it with the Queen Bee (after Teased Girl hopped between two cross-traffic vans this time). Queen Bee even told Sam she thought Teased Girl would have stuck for herself, or said something, anything, to put the blame for the secret back where it really belonged.
But because she valued Bee’s friendship, Teased Girl never did (that’s my guess/not-guess).
Now to get to my point-ola…
Backstory is huge.
(Read it a couple more times…I will too).
This secret thing seems like a teeny incident, but since this whole pile-up is driving Teased Girl’s actions, it serves as much more than that. And it’s brought up because it’s relevant to the story, and everything snowballed out of control. And Sam is there figuring out everything with everybody else.
Which is all made complicated because only Sam has every piece (except Teased Girl and Queen Bee).
If you’re a copywriter, your prospects have problems/pains/wants they want or need to have solved. Thing is, those pains and problems can spawn more and more problems, which can pile on top of one another.
And if you can connect with those pains–even the ones that are deep down–you’ll be a lot more persuasive than if you just scratch the surface.
What does this incident/problem your character or prospect is having mean to them?
With Teased Girl, it means knowing something you kept secret because you cared about someone and what they were going through earned you a spit in the eye. Now everyone is against you, and you don’t know how to break out–mostly because it’s been going on for years and shows no sign of slowing up.
For your prospects, if they’re stressed out by the amount of work they have to do because they’re not as efficient as they could be (for example), that could lead to long hours at work…
Which could lead to burnout, dissatisfaction, and what-have-ya…
Those could lead to poor family life, lack of time for things people enjoy (because joy is what makes life worth being alive for)…
And that could lead to things like divorce, hurt, and a whole lot more, all because when things pile up, people tend to look at the pile and not what started it.
I have to admit that overall, I’m looking forward to finishing the book–there’s one redux left, and the once-friends will need to get things solved to end the book. And I’m looking forward to seeing Sam (and her author) pull things off.
Tomorrow is Triple F, be sure to stop by.
Until next time,