Part 3 of Constructing a Pitch – Dramatic Structure
So my protagonist has to be one or several building scientists. Protagonists come equipped, by definition, with objectives, obstacles to those objectives, and strategies to overcome those obstacles.
(I learned this articulated approach to story structure from Pauline Peotter, in her year-long course “Playwright’s Boot Camp” at Portland State. She refuses credit for inventing the method, but I’ve never seen it anywhere else.)
Who among my building-science sources has these attributes? Continue reading Building a Pitch for Building Science
Part 2 of Constructing a Pitch – Dramatic Structure
Here we have on the operating ta— I mean, stage — four characters to build a play with.
Cast of characters –
- Sick people. They live in sickening houses. Most don’t know their home is making them sick, though some suspect.
- Health care payers. Sick care, not health care, really. They pay to make sick people better.
- Contractors. Home fixers. Sometimes healers, if the home they fix was making people sick.
- Building scientists. They find ways to make homes healthy, and figure out why houses often make their occupants sick.
Next step – Pick one of those four to be the protagonist. Continue reading Play Doctoring
Part 1 of Constructing a Pitch – Dramatic Structure
What’s the problem with the “Indoor Air is Bad For You” story? I’ve pitched it several places, with no takers. The angle with which I’ve shot it over the transoms is
The emerging discovery that it’s cheaper to treat asthma by fixing people’s homes than by prescribing them asthma drugs.
Let’s take the story apart, as a dramaturg would take apart a play, to see how it works. Or, in this case, how it fails to work. Continue reading Looking for the Hook, Dramatically
Wow, Twitter is a parallel Earth, miniaturized. I should have joined a long time ago. Mea culpa idiotica.
It’s great that there no slow talkers to endure, no meandering, no lugubriousness. The exclamation points are a chuckle – they’re as thick as the hair on a dog’s back.
Twitter search results are both concise and comprehensive. By ‘comprehensive’ I mean that the result of searching on ‘X’ is a kind of map, to scale, of common knowledge about X. Continue reading Twitter, here I am!
Suppose the practical questions of how to make a home healthy are solved. Suppose we do untangle the science of houses and indoor air, and how they make people sick. Fantastic.
Then what? Who will you call to figure out whether your home is making you sick, and what can be done about it? You’ll call an HVAC contractor, or some other kind of building contractor. It’s your house you want fixed, and they fix houses. Continue reading Who Do You Call? Part 1
I have spent this week sorting what I know about asthma, indoor air, air, houses, and the costs thereof, into different boxes. I have also taken inventory of what I don’t know, and what no one knows, about these subjects. Continue reading Rhetoric of a Pitch
From my last post, a couple days ago:
The obstacles to treating asthma this way are numerous, complex, and mutually reinforcing, like the obstacles to anything new. Fascinating villains, at least to me. And if I tell this story right, also troubling to any reader who might stand to benefit from this idea that she’ll never get a chance at.
So, what obstacles?
Obstacle 1. We don’t even know if this works for more than a few people.
There are a few heartwarming anecdotes, but no denominator. To find out how many people might benefit, someone’s going to have to spend money to collect careful data. Continue reading What Obstacles?
… make lemonade.
Maybe the reason this story isn’t falling into place is that I think it’s a success story. You know, everybody from health insurers to home remodelers will link arms and sing happy songs about indoor air quality. Continue reading If All You Have is !@#$%!
This story, if that’s what it is, the one about treating asthma with home improvement instead of prescription meds, is driving me nuts. Excuse me while I rant.
Stories have shapes, and so far this one is a blob. Continue reading The Writer at Work – !@#$%!
In the beginning there was air, and it was the same everywhere.
Then someone invented shelter, which divided air into two kinds, indoor and outdoor. Walls and roofs kept storms and wildlife out, but kept in smoke from cooking. The first indoor air must have been pretty bad. Continue reading Air, the History