Posted by: steveonfilm | December 8, 2009

Pride Is Forever: Day Two

My free writing was somewhat hit and miss last night. I found my head wandering a lot while I was writing. Not so much away from the subject at hand, but just getting full of the types of scenes I was writing about. College campuses. Track events. Dorm rooms. Student lounges. Just stuff. Pictures. Scenes. Events. It was like active day dreaming, but in a linear fashion.

I had a pretty rough idea of how the flow of “Pride Is Forever” was going to go. I’ve even done some very minor and basic outlining. So my free writing likely had a bit more structure to it than some other writers out there might encounter.

One thing I noticed, is that when I read over what I wrote it’s almost as if I’m having a conversation with myself. I’m not sure if other writers end up doing this or not. But I thought it was pretty funny when I read back through it.

I’ve got some good ideas for plot points and some pinches that might help pace out act two. But I’ll wait to develop those until I get a bit further into the exercises.

If you’re interested, here is the text file of my freewriting.


Here’s what the three sentence summary wound up being:

“Doug, a young track team member for the University of Tennessee, beats the Big Ten champion in the steeplechase the first time he runs it. Doug continues to race the steeplechase, but is faced with dealing with the death of his high school track coach and mentor while trying to run a time that qualifies him for the Olympic Trials. At the trials, Doug makes the Olympic team and finally coming to terms with the loss of his old coach, and the significance of his accomplishment.”

Each sentence will roughly translate into one of the three acts in the screenplay. The first sentence was pretty straight forever. The second sentence is almost too brief, considering the amount of story that occurs in the second act of most screenplays, but when I boiled it down to it’s basic elements that’s what I was left with. Much like the first sentence, the third one is pretty straight forward and to the point. The major beats are all presented, in a round about way. It’s not perfect, but it will do.

I’m going to reread Chapter Two of The Screenwriter’s Workbook tonight, but I’m not going to do the exercise. Syd provides a list of a few movies and asks you to break down the structure of the film into a beginning, middle, and end. I’ve seen all but one of the movies on his list ad nauseam, so I’m going to pass. I know these films inside and out, and the exercise is a bit too basic for me at this point.

I’ll pick up with Chapter Three tomorrow. For now I’ve got a few new blu-ray movies in the mail and I think I’m going to watch one of them.

Until next time, keep writing!


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