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20130220:15 Let’s write a story, part 1 of 10

Writer’s Blog, blank screen date: 130220:15

Of TEN, how’s that for commitment? Really, the segments I’ve studied break down to 8 parts, but I need this entry to explain my dilemmas and a thing at the end for the inevitable things I’d forget and or updates with situations therein.

I have read about and studied screenwriting and play writing. I have taken courses in college and have more film books than I can read. Honestly, history gets a little dry, which makes no sense. By definition history should be interesting if not exciting.

Currently I’m reading about just that, making every sentence exciting, losing those participals I keep dangling and extraneous prepositions.

Most films and plays follow a 3 act structure, but that’s odd to me. It’s too brief, too simple, but every act has a ton of elements in them. Tv is structured like that, half hour and hour shows, but none of them are formatted that way. They’re formatted to commercial breaks.

A half hour show has a lead in, opening credits, 3 commercials and closing credits. That’s at least 4-5 segments of story, each of which has to have a “teaser” to keep you from changing the channel while those annoying commercials come on. It’s similar for hour-long shows, they theoretically have more time to concentrate on a “b” story and even a C, if they have a lot of characters and they each have things to do.

Scrubs is kinda genius with this, since they developed by the 3rd season to mastering the 3 simultaneous story theme going on. Coincidentally, they’re made to parallel each other which is smart, coincidental or even dumb depending on how all 3 stories are executed.

I have also read short story writing books and read short stories. I like short stories because you quickly cover all the senses and all the w’s, all the character development, even mystery to your story. It’s why a lot of writers like me are super fans of things like Twilight Zone. There are horribly outdated things in those shows (small towns, imagine leaving your front door and car unlocked). But the concepts and feelings of a characters eventual desperation or situation develops.

Twilight zone is a forerunner to Star Trek on it’s best episodes. Those are the episodes that look at humanity from the outside as alien research. There’s things trying to be science fiction right now that are ridiculous, characters shouldn’t be invented based on their costumes or weapons to sell action figures. Sci fi lost its way with the whole dark, grim obsession. They want to be noir without the tragic ending.

So, I’m starting this for a few reasons: 1) to take you in and eventually by the end you should see the problems I’m having and hopefully have recommendations; 2) I want to write this to unlearn what I’m learning, even though that term is getting blurred with it’s over use; 3) if I can teach what I know, I’ll have to remind myself of the back corners of details that may spark something I have been overlooking. 4) If you’ve never taken a writing course, you’re about to save thousands of hours and dollars and commute to USC.

Weather I/ we write a story via blog entry, vlog, telling one at a bar, you tube video, short story in an anthology or film and tv, it can be broken down to the items to the following 8 stages. It’s true there are exceptions, but to those like me trying to “make it,” this format has to remain true. Those that get to break the pattern have made millions and can finance it themselves. We can’t.

If you think this is familiar, it’s a mishmash from a bunch of different screenwriters whose names reappear if you have studied writing format:

1. There’s a status quo, a place where the story starts off at.
2. There are characters, and their needs or wants will be presented.
3. There’s a “call to action,” the characters will be faced with having to deal with a threat and they will have to decide to do something about it. They will have to leave their comfort zone to do something about it.
4. They will have to adapt and “face trials” on learning how to combat the threat. Trial and error. Research, learning from others. Making more allies and enemies.
5. They will get the thing they want, but of course there are annoying strings attached that will screw other things up.
6. The characters, good and or bad will have to make sacrifices and take some big losses once the “thing” is obtained or achieved.
7. The characters will have to return to status quo land and they will have to decide to do this.
8. They will be back to another day similar to the beginning, but they will have knowledge and experience to deal with a threat that will be reoccurring or developing somewhere else.

 

2013/02/20 Posted by | Writing course in 10 sessions | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What side are we on?

Writer’s blog, bardate 66270.66

When it comes down to it, I think I have 2 choices when I blog, positive or negative. I have, online before isolated people when I rant because it’s usually in the form of “us vs. them.” I get bombarded by things society pushes on me all day that I put up with, but then I go online and perpetuate it by bombarding you. And I do realize that you may have had nothing to do with the things that get pushed on me all week and that my frustration may come out of nowhere to you, even setting you off when our beliefs differ.

I am confused and troubled on how to get out of “the situation I‘m in.” But I find that this is a constant, even when I was employed, even when I had things I don’t now. So I look to all kinds of things I hadn’t considered before, try to look at things from another point of view. Try to find out how to enjoy where I am in life without comparing now to when things were better or what others have “more of“ than I do, an impossibly can’t win standard.

Realistically, a lot of other points of view I checked out have just proven themselves to be exactly as stupid and narrow-minded as I imagined them to be. Then there’s a middle category, where I can understand where they’re coming from, even though my belief is still different.

Each issue has sides to it. I was going to write a blog a few weeks ago on how we’re conditioned to think everyone is an asshole. And I’m not even getting into a discussion about politics, religion or sports, which I put in the order I thought had the most effects to society. See, you may already be thinking different here.

TV or not TV: I may be about 5 years too late for this, but since I started writing in this blog regularly for a few months I suppose I can chalk it up to “back story.” I didn’t have cable tv since I spent a week horrified of 9/11 reports. I allowed myself to be sucked into the fear, and yet I still wasn’t frightened into voting for Bush (either time). I haven’t had broadband for a while til this January, since I scored it for cheap, less than $20/ mo (netzero.net), a couple bucks more than they offered for their dial-up that I put up w/ a few years.

I don’t watch a lot of tv, what I rent on Netflix are movies and tv shows that I factor from the “best of” what I’ve missed in the past decade I was partying in Vegas.

Before that, I believed in a “future’s future.” That meant I liked all the Star Trek Shows. And I’m not talking about the freaky aliens, I’m talking about how races of Earth were together, going out discovering & helping other cultures w/ their problems. There was a hierarchy for organizations you could believe in. Trek may have had corrupt people in systems, but whether you were Federation or Klingon, or whatever, you didn’t think the organization itself was in shambles as the organizations that basically run our society.

It’s interesting to look back to see what the future was supposed to be. When Star Trek was on, the future didn’t have anything to do with “reality tvkim kardashian, jersey shore type shows. It wasn’t led by socialites in trouble with the law, the paris hilton, or lindsey lohan, or the celebrities battling with their weight and botched cosmetic surgeries. It’ didn’t have anything to do with drugs, food and water supplies that we couldn’t trust. Nor did it involve power, electric or the gas that runs our vehicles to get more expensive, resources that was not only running lower, but polluting our planet. It didn’t have anything to do with all our electronics being networked on a new system, this internet, that is far more unstable that governments themselves have been hacked repeatedly on it. We’re all supposed to be logical scientists with tricorders working on “higher” levels of problems.

I have my interests that are often in the minority I admit. When “everyone” likes something, I find a reason to pick into it’s popularity, aside from being middle of the road, bland, sold out, the corporation that sponsored it, made in China, etc.

But, I’m trying. I look back and at every job, I’ve gone along with the others, I picked my battles. I put up with a lot of shit, but then find myself in a position that when I finally need something people don’t rally behind me to help me out, as I’ve done time and time again for them. I read psych books that say, if people bother you so much, stop hanging around them. This isolates me. I’m supposed to go out there into new environments to “network,” and find new opportunities, that I reluctantly do every week.

And by the way, are the unemployed sitting at home any less anti-social than going out with your friends every night to have your head stuck in an igadget?

I could write a supplemental list of sides of issues that I think about every day.

Next week, I’m considering writing about my cat. I think she deserves some blog time. And hopefully it’ll be a happier topic, for my head.

Any other topic suggestions?

2012/04/08 Posted by | Single malts | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment