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SCREENWRITING CLASS MODUEL - 9


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#1 aroundworld

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:56 AM

The Story’s Message




This module is going to explore the concept of a story message.
What does your story “say”?

The message is meaning derived from the sum of events in the story.
As an audience member, we are attuned to these and often leave the theater taking a
message with us in our thoughts.

Consider taking a responsible role in what happens in your fictional universe, in the
message that your fiction presents. Take control of these interpretations, or at least
present them in a way that stimulates thought and debate on the subject—either way,
your story will ultimately, “say something.”

Film is an extraordinarily powerful medium. It has the potential to reach unprecedented
numbers of people. As a story-teller there is a certain inherent responsibility that comes
with such powerful communication. Why not use it in a positive way?

Why not reach people with a story whose message allows them to evaluate their own lives and behavior?
That’s not to say you should adopt a grandstanding view of your own strongly held beliefs, but rather, why not examine morals that can benefit the greater good?

The choice is obviously yours but, regardless, it’s worthwhile to consider the message in
the story you’ve decided to tell.


Message

In movies, a message is usually related to the through-line. If you begin developing a
story knowing the message, it will help inform the choices you make, the scenes you
include and the type of characters you introduce.

For example, if your message is, “When A Door Closes, A Window Opens”, or “Every Cloud
Has A Silver Lining” —

Consider the following choices:

In the opening of your story, you establish the character happy, their life in
balance. Then the proverbial door must close. This will be a scene on its
own. A scene that underscores the message.

Many of the following scenes will be spent struggling with the
consequences of this action. Your character might obsess on the door being
closed and suffer the consequences emotionally.

This will impact the character’s relationships in the story as they struggle to find a new balance
without any luck.

Then, the proverbial window opens and the character learns to see the
door closing in a new light. The character’s change can be measured
against the course of the story’s journey.


There is no try, only do or do not.

 

Learn story telling in the MOVIESTORM education forum. 

 

START HERE:  http://www.moviestor...showtopic=13153


#2 aroundworld

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 01:00 AM

Discussion Assignment



Discuss the last message you saw in a feature film.


1. Did it resonate effectively; why, why not?


2. Did it change your mind about anything?


3. Did it challenge you in any way? How, and why?





There is no try, only do or do not.

 

Learn story telling in the MOVIESTORM education forum. 

 

START HERE:  http://www.moviestor...showtopic=13153


#3 JosephKw

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 07:40 AM

Discussion Assignment



Discuss the last message you saw in a feature film.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Bilbo Baggins, a well-off hobbit living comfortably in his "hobbit hole", is whisked away on an adventure to help the dwarven people reclaim their home. After a perilous near-death escape, he has an opportunity to leave the party and steal away back to his comfy home. He decides to rejoin the troupe and continue with the quest. When asked why he returned, he said that he missed his home very much, and had to help the dwarves because they no longer had a home. The message was to stop hiding in one's own "hole" and reach out to help others in need.

1. Did it resonate effectively; why, why not? Yes, in the film, this decision by Bilbo to continue the quest was presented with swelling music and long lingering close-up shots. So the import of this choice was not lost upon the audience. This moment defines Bilbo's character as an empathetic and selfless hero, and inspires the viewer to be a hero as well.


2. Did it change your mind about anything? Message-wise, no. Most people have been taught about the importance of helping those in need, and there's not much argument to do the contrary. However, when reading the novel version of the tale, I never recalled this message being brought up. So, it did elevate my esteem for the scriptwriters of this movie (I already loved how they improved upon the original "Lord of the Rings" trilogy--so I guess it didn't change my mind in that regard either).


3. Did it challenge you in any way? How, and why? The message challenges the viewer to look beyond the comforts of their surroundings and see how they can assist those in need. Few would risk life and limb as Bilbo does, but one may still help in what manner is within one's means; that may be anything as simple as donating to a cause to participating in a forum or rally to make others aware of the ills which require attention

#4 kkffoo

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 09:18 AM


Discussion Assignment



Discuss the last message you saw in a feature film.

It's Complicated. Meryl Streep / Alec Baldwin.
Divorced couple have an 'affair' with each other, several years after splitting and his remarriage.
Message: You can't wind back the clock, you have to move forward.


1. Did it resonate effectively; why, why not?

Meryl Streep's character and circumstance were so little rooted in reality that the story lacked the emotional punch to effectively communicate the central message.
Even though this was a comedy the script-writers failed to understand that the central dilemma needs to feel real on some level for the story to work.
When it didn't we found ourselves picking apart the rest of the film....those aren't real tomato plants, why hasn't she got a hairnet in that bakery?


2. Did it change your mind about anything?

There was a part of the film that did work...challenging the stereotype of the husband who runs away with the younger woman.


3. Did it challenge you in any way? How, and why?

There was an amusing image of a row of couples in an infertility clinic....all older man with younger (second?) wife.

There was a lot of good things about this film, great moments, unusual approaches....but it felt as if the central message was a pastiche and that fatally weakened the whole.



#5 aroundworld

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 02:10 AM

QUOTE (kkffoo @ Feb 20 2013, 9:18 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Discussion Assignment



Discuss the last message you saw in a feature film.

It's Complicated. Meryl Streep / Alec Baldwin.
Divorced couple have an 'affair' with each other, several years after splitting and his remarriage.
Message: You can't wind back the clock, you have to move forward.


1. Did it resonate effectively; why, why not?

Meryl Streep's character and circumstance were so little rooted in reality that the story lacked the emotional punch to effectively communicate the central message.Even though this was a comedy the script-writers failed to understand that the central dilemma needs to feel real on some level for the story to work.
When it didn't we found ourselves picking apart the rest of the film....those aren't real tomato plants, why hasn't she got a hairnet in that bakery?

This may seem like a trivial observation, or a common one, BUT, how many people have you heard say "I dont know, I just didn't like it!" great observation. Knowing why we dont like something is a battle won, in writing good stories.


2. Did it change your mind about anything?

There was a part of the film that did work...challenging the stereotype of the husband who runs away with the younger woman.


3. Did it challenge you in any way? How, and why?

There was an amusing image of a row of couples in an infertility clinic....all older man with younger (second?) wife.

There was a lot of good things about this film, great moments, unusual approaches....but it felt as if the central message was a pastiche and that fatally weakened the whole.



Nice break down Kate..... This is exactly why we need SOLID, CONCRETE, TANGIBLE reasons for things happening. When we have that the message wwe want to communicate will solid as well.

There is no try, only do or do not.

 

Learn story telling in the MOVIESTORM education forum. 

 

START HERE:  http://www.moviestor...showtopic=13153


#6 aroundworld

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 02:57 AM

QUOTE (JosephKw @ Feb 20 2013, 7:40 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Discussion Assignment



Discuss the last message you saw in a feature film.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Bilbo Baggins, a well-off hobbit living comfortably in his "hobbit hole", is whisked away on an adventure to help the dwarven people reclaim their home. After a perilous near-death escape, he has an opportunity to leave the party and steal away back to his comfy home. He decides to rejoin the troupe and continue with the quest. When asked why he returned, he said that he missed his home very much, and had to help the dwarves because they no longer had a home. The message was to stop hiding in one's own "hole" and reach out to help others in need.

Very clear, solid and simple message surrounded by epic circumstances. At times, the details of the journey can dilute the message, resulting in people saying things like "the movie didnt know what it was supposed to be." When we have a clear message and actions to support that message we can avoid those STORY FLAWS.

1. Did it resonate effectively; why, why not?

Yes, in the film, this decision by Bilbo to continue the quest was presented with swelling music and long lingering close-up shots. So the import of this choice was not lost upon the audience. This moment defines Bilbo's character as an empathetic and selfless hero, and inspires the viewer to be a hero as well.

"The message was to stop hiding in one's own "hole" and reach out to help others in need."

"This moment defines Bilbo's character as an empathetic and selfless hero, and inspires the viewer to be a hero as well."


The above is one of the key moments that helps define and reenforce the message. At the same time, as you pointed out, Bilbo's character is defined as well. These layered moments cause us to stay engaged and become involved in the plot as well as the subplot (underling message or story line of the film). The message supported by the hero's actions......




2. Did it change your mind about anything?

Message-wise, no. Most people have been taught about the importance of helping those in need, and there's not much argument to do the contrary. However, when reading the novel version of the tale, I never recalled this message being brought up. So, it did elevate my esteem for the scriptwriters of this movie (I already loved how they improved upon the original "Lord of the Rings" trilogy--so I guess it didn't change my mind in that regard either).


3. Did it challenge you in any way? How, and why?

The message challenges the viewer to look beyond the comforts of their surroundings and see how they can assist those in need. Few would risk life and limb as Bilbo does, but one may still help in what manner is within one's means; that may be anything as simple as donating to a cause to participating in a forum or rally to make others aware of the ills which require attention.


Really good observations JK.

As we write our films or books, the core of our MESSAGE can help keep us on track, allowing us to avoid story flaws that make a film meander and lose focus. Eventually losing the audience.


There is no try, only do or do not.

 

Learn story telling in the MOVIESTORM education forum. 

 

START HERE:  http://www.moviestor...showtopic=13153


#7 aroundworld

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 12:18 AM

ASSIGNMENT 2



Write a list of messages, i.e., “time heals all wounds,” “love is all you need,” etc.
Or, you can create your own message that makes sense. Your list should be five
messages long.



1.Take one of your favorite messages from the list and create a story premise (one
paragraph in length) that illustrates this message.

2. Write out a central question, a main character, their goal, and obstacles that might
lie in their path.


PERPOSE: To understand how messages can influence a character’s behavior and ultimately
lead to a premise.

There is no try, only do or do not.

 

Learn story telling in the MOVIESTORM education forum. 

 

START HERE:  http://www.moviestor...showtopic=13153


#8 kkffoo

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 09:06 AM

I found myself stuck for inspiration so I found a site which had a list of proverbs and chose some which appealed to me and thought about the message behind them.

1) After the game, the king and the pawn go into the same box
2) Charity begins at home
3) Curses, like chickens, come home to roost
4) Easy come, easy go
5) A dog who attends a flea circus most likely will steal the whole show


I couldn't resist that last one as it made me laugh and I hadn't heard it before. So no 5 it is.

Giselda is a mom of three, with a happy marriage and a part time job in a bakery, but she dreams of fame and fortune so she starts to write a novel about her life.
The new author is furious and disappointed when the book s returned by the publisher, because it is too dull, so she decides to spice it up a bit.
She gets carried away, embroidering everything she sees and experiences, and when the post mistress, after a sight illness, leaves town for some 'fresh air' Giselda's imagination runs wild.
Then a reporter arrives in town, desperate for some juicy gossip to liven up his ailing career, he is delighted to find a copy of Giselda's book tucked away in an old treehouse.
Once the story breaks the small town is besieged by the national press, and to add to the misery...the townsfolk realise that the post mistress really has disappeared. Giselda has to tell more and more lies to cover her tracks.
Will Giselda's identity as the secret novelist be revealed? Has the post mistress really been murdered to cover up corruption in the Mayor's office and can Giselda ever get her ordinary life back?

edit: I think this message could be simplified to 'value what you have'?

#9 JosephKw

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 12:49 PM

Here are a few old proverbs--I'm sure I don't have the quotes exact, but the message is hopefully intact.

Messages:
1.There's always someone better than you (old Chinese saying to teach humility).
2.The squeaky wheel gets the oil (that came to mind since my baby is crying right now).
3.The deserter who runs ten paces has no right to laugh at the deserter who runs fifty (old Chinese saying similar to Jesus' "let he who hath no sin cast the first rock").
4. The quality of life depends wholly on one's appreciation of life (I think of this one whenever some millionaire commits suicide out of sheer boredom).
5. The letter of the law can never convey the spirit of the law (this cautions against the dangers of rigidly adhering to codes rather than understanding and adapting them to the situation at hand--hopefully the concern of every good court judge).

I'll see if I can make a story out of the first message. In ancient Japan there lived a young man named Izumi. He wanted to be the world's best swordsman. So when, at age 13, he saw a public challenge posted in his town square, he signed his name onto the list of challengers. Despite his father's attempt to withdraw his son's name, Izumi stepped onto the arena platform and systematically defeated all comers. His fame spread. Town to town Izumi went defeating all swordsmen who dared challenge him. His father begged him to stop--fearing he would meet his match one day and be cut down. Izumi replied there was no one better. Then, one day, Izumi learned his father had been murdered by relatives of one of the duelists he had previously slain. Izumi swore on his father's grave that he would slay all relatives of anyone he defeated. The old grave keeper overheard Izumi's vow and approached him, limping with a cane. The grave keeper told Izumi that he should honor his father's wish and stop this egotistical quest, or else he would be made to stop. Izumi laughed and said no one could make him do anything. With that, the grave keeper challenged Izumi to a duel, using only his wooden walking stick. Izumi never backed down from a fight, drew his sword, and attacked. Before his father's grave, Izumi was knocked down to his knees by the old man's cane. With a final blow, his hands were shattered--never able to wield a sword again. The old man spared Izumi saying that he could keep his title of being the best swordsman, but he would also bear the title of being the only swordsman who was defeated by a wooden stick.

#10 aroundworld

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 10:52 PM

QUOTE (kkffoo @ Mar 4 2013, 9:06 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I found myself stuck for inspiration so I found a site which had a list of proverbs and chose some which appealed to me and thought about the message behind them.

1) After the game, the king and the pawn go into the same box
2) Charity begins at home
3) Curses, like chickens, come home to roost
4) Easy come, easy go
5) A dog who attends a flea circus most likely will steal the whole show


I couldn't resist that last one as it made me laugh and I hadn't heard it before. So no 5 it is.

Giselda is a mom of three, with a happy marriage and a part time job in a bakery, but she dreams of fame and fortune so she starts to write a novel about her life.
The new author is furious and disappointed when the book s returned by the publisher, because it is too dull, so she decides to spice it up a bit.
She gets carried away, embroidering everything she sees and experiences, and when the post mistress, after a sight illness, leaves town for some 'fresh air' Giselda's imagination runs wild.
Then a reporter arrives in town, desperate for some juicy gossip to liven up his ailing career, he is delighted to find a copy of Giselda's book tucked away in an old treehouse.
Once the story breaks the small town is besieged by the national press, and to add to the misery...the townsfolk realise that the post mistress really has disappeared. Giselda has to tell more and more lies to cover her tracks.
Will Giselda's identity as the secret novelist be revealed? Has the post mistress really been murdered to cover up corruption in the Mayor's office and can Giselda ever get her ordinary life back?

edit: I think this message could be simplified to 'value what you have'?


Sorry this took so long. Ok, This is a solid story line, Kate. But it rambles a bit. Remember, we want to tell the story concept (synopsis) in one paragraph. And details here are a little spread out.. Try and trim this down.. like we did in the beginning of the course. I've included a new exorcise. Pleas apply it to this idea.

There is no try, only do or do not.

 

Learn story telling in the MOVIESTORM education forum. 

 

START HERE:  http://www.moviestor...showtopic=13153


#11 aroundworld

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 10:56 PM

QUOTE (JosephKw @ Mar 4 2013, 12:49 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Here are a few old proverbs--I'm sure I don't have the quotes exact, but the message is hopefully intact.

Messages:
1.There's always someone better than you (old Chinese saying to teach humility).
2.The squeaky wheel gets the oil (that came to mind since my baby is crying right now).
3.The deserter who runs ten paces has no right to laugh at the deserter who runs fifty (old Chinese saying similar to Jesus' "let he who hath no sin cast the first rock").
4. The quality of life depends wholly on one's appreciation of life (I think of this one whenever some millionaire commits suicide out of sheer boredom).
5. The letter of the law can never convey the spirit of the law (this cautions against the dangers of rigidly adhering to codes rather than understanding and adapting them to the situation at hand--hopefully the concern of every good court judge).

I'll see if I can make a story out of the first message. In ancient Japan there lived a young man named Izumi. He wanted to be the world's best swordsman. So when, at age 13, he saw a public challenge posted in his town square, he signed his name onto the list of challengers. Despite his father's attempt to withdraw his son's name, Izumi stepped onto the arena platform and systematically defeated all comers. His fame spread. Town to town Izumi went defeating all swordsmen who dared challenge him. His father begged him to stop--fearing he would meet his match one day and be cut down. Izumi replied there was no one better. Then, one day, Izumi learned his father had been murdered by relatives of one of the duelists he had previously slain. Izumi swore on his father's grave that he would slay all relatives of anyone he defeated. The old grave keeper overheard Izumi's vow and approached him, limping with a cane. The grave keeper told Izumi that he should honor his father's wish and stop this egotistical quest, or else he would be made to stop. Izumi laughed and said no one could make him do anything. With that, the grave keeper challenged Izumi to a duel, using only his wooden walking stick. Izumi never backed down from a fight, drew his sword, and attacked. Before his father's grave, Izumi was knocked down to his knees by the old man's cane. With a final blow, his hands were shattered--never able to wield a sword again. The old man spared Izumi saying that he could keep his title of being the best swordsman, but he would also bear the title of being the only swordsman who was defeated by a wooden stick.


This is very clear it does not ramble .. and a solid story line. SOLID, TANGIBLE, CONCRETE reasons for things happening. BRAVO! Now, what I want you to do, is bring this down to a single paragraph. Ive set up and example for you and Kate to follow.

There is no try, only do or do not.

 

Learn story telling in the MOVIESTORM education forum. 

 

START HERE:  http://www.moviestor...showtopic=13153


#12 aroundworld

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 11:50 PM

STORY CONCEPT



PLEASE APPLY THE EXORCISE TO YOU STORY CONCEPT. Break it down then give me a ONE PARAGRAPH concept out line.


We went over these in the beginning of the course. But I want to refresh you on this because.. it helps bring your story into focus and keep it clearer in you mind.


A CONCEPT is a concise but detailed description of the premise of your movie. Concepts are specific, relying on your story's unique characters and situations rather than a general description of broad archetypes. They are also brief — usually 1 to 3 lines or so.

In essence, concepts outline your story's central core, and typically include only the details that are central to your story's premise. To make this more clear — and bear with me a moment, but this is important — Every concept typically has SIX ELEMENTS, serve a specific purpose.

These are:


- Setting: Where does this take place?

- Character: Who is this about?

- Ability: Why do I care about him/her?

- Action: What are they trying to do?

- Motive: Why are they trying to do it?

- Conflict: Why can’t they do it?

There are also two other possible elements — not required to be used in the concept, but they may come in handy.

These 'optional' two
elements are:

- Result: What happens at the end.

- Tone: What should I make of all this? Is it funny, romantic, sad, scary... or what?



EXAMPLE:


THE FUGITIVE


Prestigious doctor-turned-convicted murderer Dr. Richard Kimble escapes from prison
and must prove his alibi of a murderous one-armed man is true in order to clear his name.

You'll see that this concept has almost all of the elements (it doesn't have a setting in it).

The main CHARACTER is Kimble.

His ABILITY: (which is really just a way of saying why we are paying attention to HIM, as opposed to any other doctor) is that he's a prestigious doctor and he's been convicted of murder — two seemingly disparate elements that make him unique and worthy of being paid attention to for the duration of your story.

His ACTION: is to find the one-armed man. Note: He has many actions in the story, but they are always based on this one CENTRAL action. This tends to be true for every protagonist for every story. There is one central action that drives our hero through his story.


His MOTIVATION is to clear his name.

And his CONFLICT, which is not explicitly stated, is rather strongly implied — a convicted murder who escapes from prison is obviously on the run from the cops.

There are other ways to state this concept, but for my money this one is fairly effective. Also — if you pay attention to how I broke down the lines — you can very clearly see the Three-Act Structure for The Fugitive. Once again, with delineation:

ACT I: Prestigious doctor-turned-convicted murderer Dr. Richard Kimble escapes from prison
ACT II: and must prove his alibi of a murderous one-armed man is true
ACT III: in order to clear his name.


We had briefly mentioned that the Three Acts should be broken down by the overriding agendas of those acts. This is an example of that same thing.

Everything in Act I has to deal with Kimble escaping from prison.

Everything in Act II has to deal with proving his alibi is true (this can also be stated as 'find the one-armed man' instead of 'prove his alibi is true.').

Everything in Act III has to do with clearing his name (this can also be stated as 'exposing the conspiracy').

Ironically — and one reason why I love this movie so much — is that The Fugitive is structured almost identically for both Kimble, and his antagonist, Lt. Gerard.

Depending on how you look at the movie, EITHER CHARACTER can be seen as the Protagonist, with the other character being the Antagonist. (Good movies tend to do this, by the way.)

Let's look at this concept with Gerard as the main character:

A by-the-books US Marshall misses catching a convicted murder
and relentlessly pursues him despite a growing belief he is innocent
Until he captures him and helps him clear his name.

Note the Character and his Ability? A US Marshal who is by-the-books?

Note the Action (relentlessly pursues the escaped convict) and Motivation (implied by his job, but also because he failed at first)?

Note the Conflict? The growing belief he is innocent?

Also, do you see the three acts?

Act I: Tries to catch an escaped con.

Act II: pursues him but conflict is simplified because he's starting to
believe he's innocent.

Act III: He now wants to catch him to help him, because he believes he's innocent.

To sum all of this up... Concepts are a terrific way to keep you focused. There is no right or wrong with concepts, and they are meant for your eyes only. Their sole purpose is to keep you clear on what your story truly IS — and not get distracted by all the things your story COULD BE.

You'll find, if you stay true to your concept and open to its possibilities, the creativity that flows will surprise you. To this day, it always does that for me! The decisions you make in your story will have more purpose, and the characters/themes/actions will be that much more enriched — because they are grounded to a central concept.

Stew on this... But trust me that Concepts can be the most valuable
brainstorming tool a writer can ever have.


There is no try, only do or do not.

 

Learn story telling in the MOVIESTORM education forum. 

 

START HERE:  http://www.moviestor...showtopic=13153


#13 JosephKw

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 06:39 AM

UNMATCHED

In medieval Japan, a teenager named Izumi is determined to be the best swordsman in Japan. Despite his father's concerns of meeting an early death, Izumi refuses to stop dueling until he is finally made to stop.

- Setting: Medieval Japan

- Character: Izumi

- Ability: He is a teenager who defeats seasoned warriors.

- Action: To be the best swordsman in Japan.

- Motive: To honor his father by making his name and family school famous.

- Conflict: His father, who taught him his sword skills, wishes for young Izumi to stop.

There are also two other possible elements — not required to be used in the concept, but they may come in handy.

These 'optional' two
elements are:

- Result: Izumi is forced to heed his father's last wishes and stop dueling.

- Tone: Action-packed, fast-paced, ironic motivations (a very Japanese story trait).

#14 kkffoo

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 10:20 AM

- Setting: Where does this take place?

- Character: Who is this about?

Giselda

- Ability: Why do I care about him/her?

Audience can identify with situation - small town girl wants more

- Action: What are they trying to do?

Write a novel

- Motive: Why are they trying to do it?

To be famous, prove her own abilities

- Conflict: Why can’t they do it?

Lack of imagination - uses real life people's stories - they want to keep their lives secret

#15 aroundworld

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 09:27 PM

QUOTE (JosephKw @ Mar 19 2013, 6:39 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'll see if I can make a story out of the first message. In ancient Japan there lived a young man named Izumi. He wanted to be the world's best swordsman. So when, at age 13, he saw a public challenge posted in his town square, he signed his name onto the list of challengers.

Despite his father's attempt to withdraw his son's name, Izumi stepped onto the arena platform and systematically defeated all comers. His fame spread. Town to town Izumi went defeating all swordsmen who dared challenge him. His father begged him to stop--fearing he would meet his match one day and be cut down. Izumi replied there was no one better.

Then, one day, Izumi learned his father had been murdered by relatives of one of the duelists he had previously slain. Izumi swore on his father's grave that he would slay all relatives of anyone he defeated. The old grave keeper overheard Izumi's vow and approached him, limping with a cane. The grave keeper told Izumi that he should honor his father's wish and stop this egotistical quest, or else he would be made to stop. Izumi laughed and said no one could make him do anything.

With that, the grave keeper challenged Izumi to a duel, using only his wooden walking stick. Izumi never backed down from a fight, drew his sword, and attacked. Before his father's grave, Izumi was knocked down to his knees by the old man's cane. With a final blow, his hands were shattered--never able to wield a sword again. The old man spared Izumi saying that he could keep his title of being the best swordsman, but he would also bear the title of being the only swordsman who was defeated by a wooden stick.


In medieval Japan, Izumi, 18, defeats the top dueling swordsman of his region. Despite his father's concerns of meeting an early death, Izumi refuses to stop. His desire to become the most dangerous swordsman alive, turns into a quest for vengeance when he learns a relative of a dualist he's slain has murdered his father. Now, only the wisdom, skill and mercy of Japan's elder swordsman can save Izimi's life.



Your whole concept is wrapped up in m version. This is what I want to you to shoot for.







UNMATCHED

In medieval Japan, a teenager named Izumi is determined to be the best swordsman in Japan. Despite his father's concerns of meeting an early death, Izumi refuses to stop dueling until he is finally made to stop.

- Setting: Medieval Japan

- Character: Izumi

- Ability: He is a teenager who defeats seasoned warriors.

- Action: To be the best swordsman in Japan. (Against his father's wishes)

- Motive: To honor his father by making his name and family school famous. Until his father is murdered by a slain rival's relative. His MOTIVE is now to avenge his father's death.

- Conflict: Izumi caused his father's death who also taught him his sword skills, and wished for young Izumi to stop. Now Izumi seeks vengeance.

There are also two other possible elements — not required to be used in the concept, but they may come in handy.

These 'optional' two
elements are:

- Result: Izumi is ultimately defeated and saved by the wisdom, skill and mercy of Japan's elder duelist who uses only a bamboo pole.

- Tone: Action-packed, fast-paced, ironic motivations (a very Japanese story trait).


Remember there are no hard and fast rules with working out a story concept. However, to keep your vision clearly in focus, its important to include WHY things are happening. keep it brief and to the point. like I did above.

There is no try, only do or do not.

 

Learn story telling in the MOVIESTORM education forum. 

 

START HERE:  http://www.moviestor...showtopic=13153


#16 aroundworld

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 10:46 PM

QUOTE (kkffoo @ Mar 4 2013, 9:06 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I found myself stuck for inspiration so I found a site which had a list of proverbs and chose some which appealed to me and thought about the message behind them.

1) After the game, the king and the pawn go into the same box
2) Charity begins at home
3) Curses, like chickens, come home to roost
4) Easy come, easy go
5) A dog who attends a flea circus most likely will steal the whole show


I couldn't resist that last one as it made me laugh and I hadn't heard it before. So no 5 it is.

Giselda is a mom of three, with a happy marriage and a part time job in a bakery, but she dreams of fame and fortune so she starts to write a novel about her life.
The new author is furious and disappointed when the book s returned by the publisher, because it is too dull, so she decides to spice it up a bit.
She gets carried away, embroidering everything she sees and experiences, and when the post mistress, after a sight illness, leaves town for some 'fresh air' Giselda's imagination runs wild.
Then a reporter arrives in town, desperate for some juicy gossip to liven up his ailing career, he is delighted to find a copy of Giselda's book tucked away in an old treehouse.
Once the story breaks the small town is besieged by the national press, and to add to the misery...the townsfolk realise that the post mistress really has disappeared. Giselda has to tell more and more lies to cover her tracks.
Will Giselda's identity as the secret novelist be revealed? Has the post mistress really been murdered to cover up corruption in the Mayor's office and can Giselda ever get her ordinary life back?

edit: I think this message could be simplified to 'value what you have'?



Giselda is a mom of three, with a happy marriage and a part time job in a bakery, but she dreams of fame and fortune so she starts to write a novel about her life. The new author is furious and disappointed when the book s returned by the publisher, because it is too dull, so she decides to spice it up a bit.

She gets carried away, embroidering everything she sees and experiences, and when the post mistress, after a sight illness, leaves town for some 'fresh air' Giselda's imagination runs wild. Then a reporter arrives in town, desperate for some juicy gossip to liven up his ailing career, he is delighted to find a copy of Giselda's book tucked away in an old treehouse.

Once the story breaks the small town is besieged by the national press, and to add to the misery...the townsfolk realise that the post mistress really has disappeared. Giselda has to tell more and more lies to cover her tracks. Will Giselda's identity as the secret novelist be revealed?

Has the post mistress really been murdered to cover up corruption in the Mayor's office and can Giselda ever get her ordinary life back?

You added the central question at the end, BRAVO! Thank you. The only issue with it is that you didn't cover scandal in the Mayors in the body of your concept, but its mentioned in the central question.

This exorcise is to help you identify those mistakes and help you keep the overall story clear and on track in your mind. smile.gif

The above could be called a mini treatment or story outline.



My version:

In Rural England, Gaselda Rounds Bottom's, hopes of becoming a writer are dashed when her novel is rejected for the for the 100th time. Desperate, she makes the disappearance of the village post mistress the center piece of her next book. When after the book is published her new found fame becomes her worst nightmares when she learns her story has left a trail of clues linking her to a murder she didn't commit.


Kate, I took liberties with your story .. however the brevity Iv employed, is what I'd like you to shoot for. smile.gif


There is no try, only do or do not.

 

Learn story telling in the MOVIESTORM education forum. 

 

START HERE:  http://www.moviestor...showtopic=13153


#17 kkffoo

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 07:21 PM

That's great, I love it!

#18 aroundworld

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 07:48 PM

QUOTE (kkffoo @ Mar 24 2013, 7:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
That's great, I love it!



What is it you like about it?

Tell me the steps the this takes us through in in getting a clear picture of what your concept is it communicating.

There is no try, only do or do not.

 

Learn story telling in the MOVIESTORM education forum. 

 

START HERE:  http://www.moviestor...showtopic=13153


#19 kkffoo

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 08:08 PM

I like the link, that she is a suspect for the post-mistress's murder..that she created her own problem.
The scenario is less vague, and potentially funnier, or more dramatic because of that.

#20 JosephKw

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 12:02 PM

I love it, too. smile.gif

For my story, I guess the central question is "is being the best swordsman what Izumi really wants?"


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