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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Structure part 3


What is your story?
A couple of extra things that can go into structure and story. And they are a couple of unusual things. Both techniques are designed to help you know what scenes are in and what scenes are out. In our rough sea of good ideas and story cards - these help focus us (check out the mixed metaphor fellow writers!)

The first one is Off-Screen Story. This is, clearly, the story that occurs during the edits, or elsewhere while we are looking at the scene in front of us, or even backstory. In short - what we don't see. What happens when 'we' aren't looking. There can be a tendency to show all the story on screen. After all, that seems obvious. But is it? The audience in fact appreciates the excitement of trying to keep up with the story and fills in the gaps. We don't need to see everything. However, everything has to make sense. So, as we work out our structure why not consider the full story before you consider what scenes we see. What happens off screen should be just as exciting and vital. For me, this is the key to my next draft of Circumference. You can read more about this idea at Wordplayer.

The second technique in the segment is called 'Whose POV?'. Another way to think about it is - who are we? Who are the audience?
Are we the hero? Do we go where only she / he does and become her / him?
Are we cupid? Do we see two people and the contrasts between them?
Are we God? Do we see everything and go anywhere?
We can't be all these things. We (usually) must be one. Each has its own merits and drawbacks of course. We might get sick of seeing only Travis Bickle. Conversly we might find a film that doesn't linger on the hero uninvolving and wonder what its about.
Choose wisely. But choose.


New to this diagram?
What is it? - How do I get a copy? - Read from the beginning on the blog.

The Scriptwriter's Life diagram is by Tim Clague from a joint venture by Projector Films, South West Screen & MartonHouse.
The diagram can be used by anyone and is under a Creative Commons License.
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6 comments:

pink franingo said...

I think you are very right, and I would hope that all script writers would be doing this anyway because I would've thought this an obvious thing - to consider pov aswell as back story (what we don't see). But I'm not sure then what to comment on (which is usually my quandary) because the obvious is being pointed out and to comment usually means to give a difference of opinion or new concept I suppose. Which is why I think there's a lack of debate/discussion going on. My suggestion would be to say something wrong/controversial, compelling bloggers to blog. Devil's Advocate. An oldy but a goody...Hey Tim its Fran, hope you're doing well, and just to say, I do always read the posts.

pink franingo said...

You know what I'm saying - shakey shakey wakey wakey.

Tim Clague said...

I know what you're saying. That's why I do a mix of '3 circles' with a mix of other stuff.

3 circles stuff is a little bit one way. But we'll see what happens yet.

Tim Clague said...

And I feel a duty to explain it in more detail if I can. Its been downloaded nearly 500 times now. And I don't want it to be something that looks pretty but doesn't help people.

pink franingo said...

500 times? I believe in what you're doing, because its helping so many people, and people like you are rare. I'm just sad about the lack of comments, in that case. Our society has become too take take take.

Tim Clague said...

Worry ye not! The blog entries on the scriptwriters life will probably be one way. After all, its a tool that is given away for free. Although comments are always good as it is a work in progress and the whole diagram as it stands has grown out of comments and blog discussions.