Posted by: steveonfilm | February 3, 2010

The Story Within The Story

I’m getting close to having my outline for “Pride is Forever” complete. The story is clicking. I figured out what was wrong. And can feel that I’ve almost got it right.

When I look back, it’s funny how right my intuitions were with what part of the story was bugging me. I knew it was one of three main story arcs: Doug’s struggle to achieve his goal, Doug and Victoria’s relationship, or Doug and Father Stevens’s relationship. I wasn’t satisfied with how any of these were playing out. What I didn’t realize was that by addressing one of the three, the other two would fall into place.

When I stripped everything away from the story I was trying to tell with “Pride is Forever” I realized that my head kept looking at the relationship between Doug and Victoria. More than anything else, this was where my attention kept turning. The more I thought about it, the more I found myself exploring the dynamic between these two. And as I explored that dynamic the story arcs about Doug’s struggle and his relationship with Father Stevens started to fall into place too.

I’ve probably spent more time figuring out who Victoria is than any other character in “Pride is Forever.” That’s not to say I’m neglecting Doug. I’m not. Number one, I know who he is since he’s real, and he’s my uncle. Two, I’ve had his character so clear in my mind that there isn’t a whole lot I need to think about. Three, what he does seems so natural already that I know I’ve got his character set inside and out. But, what I was able to realize was that it was Victoria and Doug’s relationship that everything else hinged on. That was the glue that tied the whole story together.

When I set out to create a love interest for Doug she was very much generic. Doug was a handsome, successful athlete, who didn’t have much problem picking up girls. So it cam natural to develop a character opposite of him, and somehow I settled on a somewhat feminist female who loathed everything Doug was about. I don’t know why, maybe it’s because the story takes place in 1971, and the women’s lib movement was just starting to really gain steam. Who knows? And that was the problem. I didn’t know, and I came to realize that I wasn’t interested in exploring the dynamic between Doug and this Victoria, if that makes any sense.

So I looked at Victoria’s character on a deeper level. I started to really try to figure out what she was, who she was, what she stood for. I shifted away from a “man hating feminist” to somewhat vulnerable, yet strong character. I took some parts of the Kate Austin character from LOST, and mixed it up with a bit of the Mathilda character from “The Professional.” And once I figured out who the Victoria was that I wanted Doug to fall for, everything opened up for me.

Anyway, just thought I’d write a bit about how I worked through my problems, and what I determined the issue and solutions were. I’ll have the outlines posted as soon as I have them complete.

Until next time, keep writing!
-Steve

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