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.
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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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