Friday, April 11, 2014

J IS FOR JAMBOREE


J is for Jamboree  (Skim to the underlined genre or style that best suits you.)

It’s easy to think of some party–a jamboree–in a Romance novel, because that’s where Opie and Ms. Right meet. Now decide the purpose of the party, and who will be there. A town event, something celebrating the town’s history? Are the people attending wearing costumes? What two costumes would look so not right together, and yet be a perfect fit? What brought Opie to the party–obligation and servitude, or boredom, or hope? And how did she end up there, the Ms. Right wearing the costume that so outrageously clashes with his?

Mystery lovers, imagine the clues you could find at a jamboree. A business card left behind, suggesting that somebody who denies being there might have been there after all (or someone wants us to think so). Perhaps the murder was committed with a weapon that might be part of someone’s costume. The story could be quite lively if it circles around a jamboree. Imagine all of the colors you’d see there, feathers and chains, sequins, and candy with just the right sprinkle of poison and served to just the right guest. Think about the different types of people there, the dancing, the laughing, and the screams that weren’t even heard over the loud music. Who wanted the victim dead? What does the victim mean to the sleuth? And hat is the sleuth’s motivation for solving the mystery?

Literary writers might think about a jamboree as a significant event not only in the history of the town, but the history of a certain family or a certain person. From year to year, a jamboree was held, but in this one particular year, it took on a new meaning. It put a series of events into motion that ultimately brought back that same certain person, if not in time and space, at least in mind. How does this jamboree reflect the inner workings of this character’s life? Think of a town event or jamboree that in some way defines a little part of you, and then magnify that aspect to give it to your character. Give it meaning; stretch it this way and that.

Children or Young Adults love parties of any type. For young adults, it’s an excuse to meet the opposite sex. That could turn into a romance, or it could turn into a reflective coming-of-age story, where the character learns romance is merely a plot point in her life, but not a way of life. And where better to learn such a lesson than a jamboree? And for younger kids, I think it best that their parents organize a jamboree-fest from A to Z. Naturally, the one who contributes with the most originality wins some coveted prize. Remember, this doesn’t have to be a story that turns out happily ever after. It can be a realistic story, where not winning turns out to be the best win of all.

Please feel free to add to these ideas or share your own, and don’t be shy about offering up some ideas for sci-fi, horror, historical, or fantasy writers. We all need a little jumpstart now and then.

Happy writing!

44 comments:

  1. Such great ideas Debi thank you! Ideas to transform into shape and form. Will re-look at a later stage and thank you for these inspiring posts! Have a great weekend.
    Garden of Eden Blog

    ReplyDelete
  2. Most inspiring and a pleasure to read Debi. Thanks for brightening my Friday morning.
    Yvonne.,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Yvonne. I appreciate your visit.

      Delete
  3. OOH I like the mystery - the left behind business card. You really awaken my imaginative mind!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm not sure a jamboree would work for the time periods I've published thus far, but I love the idea for teens--that angst about getting out and hopefully meeting someone, where every person in the room is a potential interest.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too. It's such a fun stage of life, but full of mystery and angst, which makes it more interesting when we later look back. :-)

      Delete
  5. The word jamboree evokes a feeling of an era gone by. We really don't hear much about jamborees any longer. It could be used in any historical writing to give a feel for the time and place. Perhaps some places still have jamborees as a historic celebration. I can even see this being used in a YA novel for a dance. Something different this year... a jamboree!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, a lot of school dances relate to a theme or era. Town celebrations often to too. Thanks for the comment and visit.

      Delete
  6. Replies
    1. Hah! Funny to see your name here. Was just at your site and I'm listening to the theme music to Jurassic Park as I check my comments and visit other sites. :-)

      Delete
  7. I can see using a jamboree in a mystery. There's music and costumes that would allow people to disguise their identities and cover up screams. It's a fun word too.
    Elizabeth Hein @ www.scribblinginthestorageroom.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, I think it works well in a mystery, too.

      Delete
  8. I like it for the YA idea -- an excuse to meet the opposite sex, but then the little sister tells on the big brother (who is trying to court a pretty young lady inside the jamboree) and they all get in trouble with Mom who had asked the big brother to watch the little sister, and of course, behave. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent. Thanks so much. Someone is sure to use this idea.

      Delete
    2. I've been thinking about some of the trouble they could get into with Mom. :-)

      Delete
  9. If you want some help on weapons, go to Yolanda Renée's blog, she is talking about murder weapons in her A to Z, Murderous Imaginings. http://murderousimaginings.blogspot.ca/2014/04/j-is-for-javelin.html

    I think your jamboree situation would really work for a mystery.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I'll have to check that site out.

      Delete
    2. Thanks Jo, appreciate the referral!

      Debi - Murder at a Jamboree would be a fun project - reminds me of the grange meetings grandma used to take me too years ago. She always backed for the event, the baked goods were raffled off, and at one meeting you just had to guess the hidden item in her cake to win. It was a file! LOL

      Delete
    3. Your grandmother sounds like a fun lady. Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see you around the A-Z.

      Delete
  10. Such a great word, enjoyed the mystery idea.

    ReplyDelete
  11. debi: Thanks for stopping by my website. Your blog is terrific. I am your newest follower.

    ReplyDelete
  12. What about sci-fi? There could be a jamboree that introduces the reader to future food, drinks, and customs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. I was hoping someone would offer up some suggestions for some of the other genres. :-)

      Delete
  13. Great topic for the letter 'J'! Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Vaguely reminds me of the book August, Die She Must, which took place at a summer camp . . .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh...I love books set at a campground. Might be checking that one out. :-)

      Delete
  15. There's an RV organization called Good Sam. They have regional jamborees that they call "Samborees."

    ReplyDelete
  16. Great word choice! It's so descriptive in the type of shindig it would represent. And I love your starter ideas. So fun! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Ava. It's been fun writing them.

      Delete
  17. The villagers in a remote valley could be having a jamboree to celebrate spring and the start of the growing season, but then a troop of the king's soldiers thunders into the middle of everything, scattering the villagers. As they run screaming away to hide, the Captain shouts, "Where is he? We know he's here somewhere..."

    ReplyDelete
  18. Debi, I tracked you here from my blog (that is not the one doing A-Z; that one is www.sharonarthurmoor.blogspot.com).

    Wow! You have one of the most creative responses of any of the A-Z blogs I've checked in on! Brilliant! I went back to read all the ones I had missed. I'll be back!

    ReplyDelete
  19. It's a wonderful word.
    I like the idea of the literary jamboree... especially where you mention "series of events into motion that ultimately brought back that same certain person, if not in time and space, at least in mind." That would allow for the multi-layered approach.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I remember parties being so exciting when I was a kid. Well, they still are, just in another way. Loved the literary jamboree!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Top word 'Jamboree@ excellent suggestions.
    Loving the A to Z Challenge Maggie@expatbrazil.

    ReplyDelete