They say that everything is grist for the mill of a good writer. Tell you what. Let’s put that to the test. Let’s make some lemonade from my recent, digitally awful, weekend! We need three ingredients.
- The Lemon: My horrible blog subscription snarl;
- The Sugar: the enormous amount of time I recently spent studying three act structure for novels;
- The Water: the fact that I have no blog post ready at the mo.
ACT I. This is our setup. Here we introduce our Hero’s Ordinary World, describe the Inciting Incident which pushes our (reluctant) Hero toward the Fire of Change and a New World. Here goes:
My name is Tech. Panama Tech. My friends call me Wannabe Tech, but that’s another story. When I initially set the email subscription system up, it worked fine. Then, a few months later, for no apparent reason, it didn’t.
I began getting complaints. Readers couldn’t subscribe. Zombies were eating their sign-ups, they told me. The dragon was making passes over the livestock. Help us, they said. One of my tech-literate, WordPress-y friends suggested I try a “plug-in,” one of those little cleverly coded gizmos that make WordPress such an easy platform for bloggers.
ACT II. Here we arrive in our Hero’s New World. It’s different here. We aren’t in Kansas any more. This is also where our Hero has to transform so she’ll be ready for the Big Battle and climax coming up in Act III. Ready?
I looked up “WordPress subscription plug-ins.” Guau! (Editorial note: we are still in Panama.) There were hundreds. I had to narrow the field. NOW. I could hear the dragon roaring. I pulled up some reviews. Ah. Here was one – a Magic Action Box. I’ve always been suspicious of magic, but, well, 171,094 Amazon authors have written books about it. They can’t all be wrong, so what the hey. I plugged the plug-in in.
Guau! This was one sexy little plug-in. I was cookin’ now. I pulled out the laurels so I could lie back and rest.
But what was this? My nap was disturbed by plaintive notes from readers – unhappily, they still couldn’t subscribe, or follow, or nuthin’. Huh. One of the Magic Box’s tricks was apparently a disappearin’ act.
Things had only gotten worse. I had to do somethin’. Probably somethin’ deeply techie. Oh, foo. And I was prob’ly gunna have to do it soon, or the zombies and the vampires would devour my website and my readers. The world was about to end, the dragon was roarin’ and it was up to me to save the whole dang thing. But how?
Double Foo. But I would do it. Yes, I would. I would draw upon the Power Within and JUST DO IT.
ACT III. Now we’re going to have some serious trials, the Big Battle and the climax – complete resolution of the problem. If it works out right, every one will live happily ever after. Here we go…
I dug around in the settings. Aha! The Magic Box needed food. It ate something called an API – but where in the name of all vampires did you find one of those? Ah! I must journey across the cloud to the Magic Action Box tribe.
And so I did, and did wheedle forth an API. But when I plugged it in, terror poured through my veins! It still didn’t work!
But I hadda solve this. I hadda save the world. It was up to me. Determined, I hauled out my trusty Googler and looked up “email subscriptions to WordPress.” I took my sword and hacked through all that was there until at last I found the treasure I sought, enough to keep the dragon happy for quite some time! I rushed to the interior parts of the blog cave. I put the right stuff in there, fed the dragon. And lo! The dragon ate it right down. And burped. Happy.
Lo! The subscription thingie works now. Lo, lo! My laurels are even more comfy. And lo, lo, lo! The readers are once again happy and productive – no, wait, that’s me who is productive.
Anyway, we’re all gunna live happily ever after.
OK, I admit it. This tale is missing the Obligatory Sex Scene. I just couldn’t figure out how to work it in. I guess I must not be the writer I thought I was. Sorry.