I beat everything out. I can’t help it — and why would I want to? As a decade-long Save the Cat!® devotee who actually studied with Blake Snyder, I know with certainty that there is no creative project that can’t be improved with a compelling and primal narrative.

And that is why — when I set out to write and record new music — I did so from the very beginning with the intent to tell a story that the listener could follow from the first track to the last.

Below, you’ll find the beat sheet (and song previews) for Escape Emotion – my new pop/electronic EP that’s out August 29th on iTunes, Amazon MP3, GooglePlay, Spotify, and just about everywhere music is sold online.

It’s a story of heartbreak, of course. I simply can’t think of anything more primal.

–Jennifer Zhang (

Genre: Rites of Passage


Opening Image: She lusts after a man who does not belong to her and begins singing her siren song. “Your kiss not on my lips. / Your grip not on my thighs. / She sips all of your bliss, / That could be mine.”

Set-Up: She intimates that she can see clearly that he does not care for the one he’s with, and that she can provide a paradise he can escape to. “And we know, / That your heart isn’t there, / That you struggle to care.”

Theme Stated: She offers herself, but she warns that she cannot—by nature—wait long for him. To do so would be a contradiction of who she believes herself to be.
“But I am a wave, / So I can’t stay and wait.”


Catalyst: Between “Escape Emotion” and “Collide,” the man detangles himself from the woman he did not seem to truly care for. He is now free, and a new flirtation game begins.



Debate: Despite her eagerness, and despite the thrills, the courtship seems to hang in a strange limbo that she doesn’t quite understand. “Poetic that we can’t connect. / When will we come around?”

Break into Two: She entreats him to put an end to the games so that she can finally have him. “Lay us down, / Lay us down. / Motion’s hot but rest is nice. / Let our friction cool on ice.”

B Story: But despite his being unattached, he has not chosen to be with her. She holds out hope, all the while compromising her “siren” identity as was her claim in “Escape Emotion.” “There is a point where our stories collide…”


The Promise of the Premise: Between “Collide” and “Knell” – events have transpired that have exposed that the romance was never going to materialize after all. A connection that was ambiguous at best and wholly imagined at worst has been revealed to be a fantasy.


Midpoint: A seeming catastrophic defeat. Everything has fallen apart. “I feel us fading now. / We’ve slipped somehow. / Evaporate away, / And I can’t make it stay.”

Bad Guys Close In: She is consumed by doubt. Was there ever an attraction? Has she given up everything she is for a chance to be with him? “Could it be my sole sacrifice? / Lived a lie, / Lived this lie.”

All Is Lost: She resigns herself to a bleak revelation. “Now I see, / You and me, / A sad fantasy.”

Dark Night of the Soul: She hits rock bottom and steels herself for a metaphorical death. “A knell for what we had, / A knell at least. / An end to what I dreamt, / And everything it meant.”


Break into Three: She has made a decision to accept a painful reality. She must let go of everything she’s wanted so desperately, and all the lies she invested in so that she can define herself again.



Finale: To synthesize who she was with who she can be—she needs to let go of fantasy and lust while saving her ability to hope and to love. She faces some hard truths. “And to blame you at all, / Is indulgent and it’s not fair. / And it kills me to know, / That I’ve made it my cross to bear.”

The bridge of the song contains the spark of her rebirth and transformation. “And I’m struggling for shore, / Angling for just once more sign, / That you do really care.”



Final Image: Synthesis is complete. As opposed to the lustful, tumultuous woman we began the journey with, we now find someone who has emerged with a more mature understanding of love, and who is finally capable of letting go… “I’m calm now. / I finally feel it’s done. / I’m happy. / I’m watching the setting sun.”

…and ultimately capable of loving without possessing.

“I’m gone now. / I’m fading into the night. / You’re happy. / You’re blissfully bathed in light. / I watch you from horizons far out of sight. / It’s lonely, / But somehow it all feels right.”


Jennifer Zhang collaborated with producers/co-writers Diana “AutoReiv” Cha and Drew “Kid Original” Krassowski, and recording and mix engineer Glenn Suravech of Mosaic Sound Recordings to bring you the Escape Emotion EP.