Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Writer's Boot Camp: Week One

Having completed the first week of my boot camp, here's a report on what I did. In parentheses are the random elements: character, prop, line of dialogue and genre. I'm very glad I told myself up to ten pages, because I went over seven a number of times.

Test script (Sue Morton, grandmother; paper bag; "How much is that?" Horror): A doting grandmother picks up a Thanksgiving charity bag, which hatches a dreadful monster. She defeats it by showing it pictures of her grandchildren. Just a little over four pages. Possibly adaptable into flash fiction.

Script 6/23 false start (Bitsy Ballou, advice columnist; snow globe; "Where were you yesterday?" Holiday film): A glib advice columnist is given some lessons in holiday spirit by an oddball stalker. About seven and a half pages. Can't really see this one converting.

Script 7/1-2 (Emily Longman, coffee shop barista; necklace; "How much is that?" Detective/cop): When young witch Emily's necklace is stolen from the coffee shop where she works, she follows the case's detective persistently until he reluctantly comes to believe in her abilities. A little over eight pages. Actually, okay, this is decently cute and it might be workable.

Script 7/3-4 (Carl Rugman, film producer; hair brush; "When you say it like that, it's almost poetry." Superhero): Harried Carl Rugman interviews three superheroes - Rapunzel, the Sybarite and Dolphin Lass - for inclusion on a reality TV series. This was so ridiculous and so insanely fun to write. Almost eight pages long. I probably will convert this one into a story.

Script 7/5-6 (Hugh Simon, bouncer; electric fan; "Smell that. Does it seem funny?" Comedy): A mysterious aroma in the Subterfire nightclub sends the bouncer and the electrician looking for the cause ... and when they find it, they decide to let sleeping dragons lie. Almost six pages long. Ironically, this was really hard to write. It's as if I can only be funny when I can't help myself ...

Script 7/7-8 (John Kent, farmer; purse; "Where were you yesterday?" Spy): Arthur Tartleton, British secret agent, gets injured in a field, and is taken in by a farmer who wants him to use his super-spy skills to determine whether his wife is having an affair. Seven pages pretty much exactly. This one was a lot of fun, but I'm not sure I have a use for it ...

So far, I think my plotting is pretty stock. I don't mind, it's getting me used to think in bite-sized portions and writing in a style without internal cues. Three more weeks to go!

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