Posted by: steveonfilm | April 18, 2010

Hit A Snag

I was browsing over the official rules for Creative Screenwriting’s Cyberspace Open and noticed something that gave me pause:

“The action must take place in one location, and it must conform to the premise provided for that round.”

I’ve currently got two problems with this. One, my entry has two locations. And two, it’s actually three scenes. Or, at least, it’s one scene unit, but broken up into three parts. A prologue, showing my protagonist fail. The meat and potatoes, where a mentor rallies or provokes my protagonist in an unexpected way. And an epilogue, where my protagonist comes around and rises – or falls — to the occasion.

I decided to watch the YouTube video where Coverage Ink founder Jim Cirile goes over the rules again. Jim says,

“We are looking for a scene, alright. Or a scene unit, which is basically like, two characters walking and talking through a series of locations, or a group of small scenes all connected by a common thread. But the main thing is a scene. Not a short film. Not an entire 120 minute feature condensed down into four or five pages. Just a scene, that’s all.”

I think this gives me some flexibility, and keeps my sequence within the “all connected by a common thread.” The protagonist fails. Remembers something her mentor said to her. Then triumphs. I hope this stays within the structure guidelines.

To be safe, I’m dropping the change in location. I can still do everything in one location, it’ll just be different areas of the same location.

This will take some significant rewriting, but I guess this is what third drafts are all about.

Keep writing!


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