Ever have one of those moments?
If you have been lurking around here for a while you know I’ve ostracized my self to a Screenwriting Gulag for the past month or so – trying to understand and improve on my weaknesses as a writer.
But during this time I had a ‘brain-fart’ of an idea for a new screenplay and started down the road of outlining, character development – using what I have learned at the Re-education Camp (see posts: Weak Characters, Shallow Stories) – and developing the plot. I had what I thought was a High Concept Story – The Holy Grail of screenwriting: an iconic character – someone everyone ‘knows’; a familiar situation – something everyone has experienced; and high stakes – a worldwide disaster. Then earlier this week I pitched some stories to a fellow screenwriter – of the produced variety – and we both agreed that one idea was worthy of exploration. He suggested that I put together a short synopsis – what’s going on at the beginning of the story, what happens at the end of Act I, Act II, and Act III. I did this and voila!
It became clear to me that I can write this.
In all fairness the story idea is based on a short story I wrote a year or two ago, so the majority of the story is already in place. The problem – and this was true of the short story too – is with the ending: too damned ‘preachy’. But, developing the synopsis showed me a way to overcome that preachy ending – an ending that should be ‘acceptable’ to the audience. I’m shelving the first High Concept work-in-progress and turning my attention to this new, High Concept screenplay.
So, my question to you – my loyal two or three fans – is this: have you ever started a story then suddenly made a hard U-turn down the road of a different story? And if so, how did that work out for you? Was the new story easy to write? Was the first story ever completed?
Share with me, please.