Ah, those 11s, 111s, 1111s. I love synchronicities that involve these numbers. They’ve held different meanings over the years – spirit contact, that I’m on the right track with a project, that I’m exactly where I should be in a relationship or situation. Our friend Melissa sees these numbers frequently and associates them with her cat, who passed last year. What the numbers mean to any individual depends on what’s going on when they occur.
So here’s what was happening. Nancy Pickard and I trade ideas about our respective novels and how they relate to Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat books. There’s a cat book for script writing and a cat book for writing a novel, but both use the same “beats” and provide the page number where a particular scene should occur. For a 400-page novel, the beats occur later than in a script of 110 pages.
Nancy and I were both trying to find the right logline for our respective novels. After she helped me with mine yesterday, she sent me hers today. In both instances, our novels are already underway and we needed a blueprint of what the stories are about.
Here’s what we decided on for mine:
The island home of a reluctant psychic is invaded by people with terrifying powers from centuries in the future. She discovers their brilliant, misguided leader is her descendant, fleeing a world devastated by climate change, and that he will seize the island unless she can defeat him – by joining him.
It’s 50 words. Nancy thought hers should be shorter. Here it is:
A chemist fired from his dream job, an athlete who is viciously injured, a faithful husband accused of infidelity, a secret poet who is stymied at every turn when she tries to save her dying little town–the four of them are old friends who feel like failures. But when a desperate girl tries to kill herself at the same spot where a popular friend of theirs died twenty years ago, they begin to wonder if there is a connection between those kids and their own stories, and together, they launch a dangerous search to identify their hidden enemy–and the motive–before other lives, and their home town, are destroyed.
When I read it, I thought it was perfect, but wondered if there could be a way to shorten it by starting with the protagonist – the poet. But the more I read it, the more perfect it seemed. I did a word count: 111 words. My phone buzzed as I was doing that and I glanced at it. The time was exactly 11:11.
To me, this synchronicity indicated her logline was perfect. Don’t change a thing! I wrote her, and explained why.
If you Google these numbers, you’ll find all kinds of meanings. But in the end, the only meaning that matters is yours and it will be obvious if you’re paying attention to what you’re doing, thinking, or saying at the time.
P.S. As I put this on the dashboard to be published, I noticed it’s the 11th post in the lineup for publication. I think that officially makes this a cluster.