The Bag Means Your Mind

A delightful mix of insightful comments and ignorant assumptions about screenwriting... and such.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Six Month Plan (Update 1)

I'm going to be posting updates along the way. Hopefully it will keep me honest and on track. These first steps are proving difficult. I've got 3 months to bang out a story and it seems like a long time. It ain't.

I'm a month in and I've figured out some of the key conceits of my story. I have some of the main characters, and for the time being I'm going to focus on them. I need to find out who they are and how they relate to one another. My feeling is that if the characters are fleshed out, the situations that will give them the most trouble will become apparent. I'll be using the Enneagram to mold each of the characters. And if I'm able to truly understand their emotional underpinnings, when they interact I can more clearly compose situations that will bring about the most strife. Easy, right?

In addition to all of this I've identified a key phrase that serves one of the central themes of the story. "Winning the lottery is a good result from a poor decision." When designing a character, I think it is important that his or her job/hobbies/circumstances should somehow reflect the core of that character, the theme of the story, or reveal some irony. Harold Crick is an IRS auditor in Stranger Than Fiction. The profession just resonates with who his character is.

In Batman: The Dark Knight, there was a line about how a crusader who lives a short life is a hero. But a crusader who lives long enough will eventually become the villain. That line, that idea just kind of burrows into the story and embeds itself as a central statement (in a good way). So I'm looking for that idea that permeates the story. I'm guessing it isn't a first draft revelation.

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