dumb plots

So I’m listening to this old song, like over and over and over:

All Cried Out as performed by Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam with Full Force, circa 1985.

My poor kids are probably having nightmares because they’re sleeping and I’m sitting here belting it out like an idiot.

Fist of all, a moment of appreciation for the GOLD that is this video. Seriously check out Paul Anthony (I think?) with the bathrobe belt around his forehead. And Lisa Lisa’s outfits!! This whole thing is fantastic. 80’s gold.

Anywhoo… best I can tell this is a song about a very short lived romance, where apparently the couple shares a night of passion, and a (short?) time later, the chick tries to get the guy’s attention, but due to noisy traffic (or cheating/distraction? it’s unclear), he doesn’t hear her and she freaks the fuck out, taking it as a rejection. She then spends the remainder of the time span crying into her pillow until she is literally “all cried out,” and by the end of it, he is, too. Dumb plot.

The song is still so pleasurable to me, though! It reminds me of Junior high sleepovers: singing it into a hairbrush while dancing on a girlfriend’s bed. And school dances: slow dancing under a disco ball in the gym on a Friday night. I love it.*

But it got me thinking about the ludicrous story lines we tolerate. Even enjoy. God, such ridiculous turns of events take place in books and songs and poems! When you break them down, like in this song, they are so crazy, often even laughable.

Kind of like life, I guess.

The stories we hear from our friends, those we see on the news, and even the things we experience are sometimes “stranger than fiction” too, aren’t they? Sometimes it’s the stupidest things that set events in motion. And many times people behave in surprisingly idiotic ways.

I’m thinking about this because I am currently plotting out my next book, and I’m trying to add in enough twists and coincidences and conflicts to make it interesting, but still keep it believable.

It’s all in the delivery, I think. That ridiculous song is a hit because of the music, the singing. Honestly some artists could swap out their lyrics with a grocery list and still sound fantastic, still make you want to dance or cry or just smile. Same with books. Some author’s writing is so fun to read, so pleasurable, they could really tell you any story and you’d enjoy it.

If I only knew the trick to that! Because while I can write a lot of truth, and write honestly, and raw, and all that… I can’t really make it as pretty as I’d like. I can’t make it as addictive as an eighties power ballad. I’m working on it, though! That’s totally my goal 🙂

*note: If you plug “All Cried Out” into YouTube/Pandora, the accompanying  recommendations/channels are fantastic: Klymaxx, Atlantic Starr, The Jets, Pebbles…seriously fun mid-eighties music! Highly recommend.

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