Category Quick Jump
"A Great Story Tells Us"...
Ok, working from the screenwriter’s workshop I was at a few weeks ago, I’m examining my story.
1. “A great story tells us:
How a person succeeds or fails:
My writer is going to fail to write a novel. She is going to sketch everything out, but at the end, fail to bring it all together. Bam! Blast – like Chernobyl. She is going to fail because she lacks confidence. Because her depression, loneliness, feelings of loss and confusion overtake her. She is scattered. She cannot finish things.
The man is going to fail as well. The alien – she will fail because she “is” the writer.
The toad is a commentator so doesn’t really fail or succeed. *Note that the toad may become a mushroom. I love the idea of a mushroom in the reactor, observing, and succeeding, to colonize this dangerous, sick garbage heap and turning it into a thriving town for it’s extended family and friends. The mushroom isn’t going to do much though, other than to put word out that there is a wonderful, dark, energized place to eat, live and grow, without predators.
So the writer will not grow or change. She will remain headstrong and wedded to her view of herself as lost, confused, depressed. She will write when she needs solace and abandon it when she has better things to do. She will cry, lament, moan. We may understand how hard it is for her. We may feel sorry for her, but at the end of the day, we must leave her. She cannot overcome her situation and seems impervious to help.
The man will not grow and change because the writer and the alien cannot help him. We will see how people with power (all people) can bring others down with them by not supporting them – by being so wrapped up in their own problems that they do not see the solutions staring them in the face. That, or that their complete lack of confidence blinds them to solutions. Where someone else might see flowers blooming, these people already see their death.
The man will fail because he will never leave Chernobyl. He will stay in his house, eaten finally, by rats when he is too sick to move.
The alien will be pulled back from her mission and given a desk job. A boring, menial, Bartleby-like job. Until she commits suicide.
Geez, plot. I haven’t even considered plot because I preferred plotless – cause I’m all arty that way. I guess the plot will be the writer attempting to write a novel – and failing. The conflict will be her trying to get over her abysmal depression and lack of confidence; her inability to concentrate and finish anything, and failing. Oh geesus, I hate this woman already! Such a whining, wet noodle. No one wants to be around this pessimistic, irresponsible, anti-cheerleader. Gah, this is going to be a hard novel to write.
The man’s subplot will be the alien trying to get him to leave, but having nothing to entice him with – or rather, failing to see that the only thing she can offer him is escape, with her, into a new existence: an alien existence. Instead, she will try to convince him to leave Chernobyl for Kiev, where he would have to become a janitor or get some minimum wage job to pay for his sustenance living. He would have no family. He will have lost them all to the Chernobyl blast. He will be unable to overcome this final tragedy in a life of hardship. He will be based on people’s stories that I read in the book “Voices of Chernobyl”. We will understand his pain and failure and howl at the pain it brings us – at the helplessness and anger it makes us feel, for man’s inhumanity to man.
The mushroom will bring his or her family to the reactor. Their conflict I will have to research. I will have to find out how these mushrooms live and grow – and bring that into their story. The only heroes in this story of failure will be the lowly mushrooms, not only another species but short, spongy, low-lying, darkness dwelling, colourless plants that are poison for a human to eat.
Theme, I think I’ve covered in detail already. Think we’re good to go!
1 from handouts from: http://www.womeninfilm.ca/cgi/page.cgi?evtid=184&_id=57&date=2009-11-18 - in case that link dies - a distillation of Inside Story, http://www.daramarks.com/inside.php
Links of Fondness :
Machine Biscuits :