Wednesday, 21 January 2015


1 comment:

  1. OGR 22/01/2015

    Hi Ridge,

    Okay - well, there's a very straightforward test to see if you've fully integrated your story components into an idea - a test to see if the components are being used to truly drive the story; the test is this; if you can replace any of your components with something else - and your story remains unchanged - then you're not, in fact, using your story components at all:

    So consider this: a highly ambitious driven business man is rushing his breakfast. He eats a donut and he dies. He is taken to the morgue, where he thinks about his daughter - an opera singer, whose audition he missed - too late, he's dead - end of story...

    So - my point is this: are you actually using the vending machine in any real way (in other words, is it driving the plot?) No. Is the fact that your character is a contortionist driving the plot? No. If you think about it for a moment, you'll see this is true - you've written an arbitrary story about arbitrary characters...

    Consider this: scene 1 - a body is wheeled into the morgue: it's under a sheet; audience can't see it, but we can see from the morgue attendant's reaction that there is something weird about the body; on the clipboard we see the corpse's name...

    scene 2: flashback - we see a man approaching a vending machine; he puts his money in, chooses his snack, but the snack doesn't come out. The character seeks to retrieve the snack from the vending machine, and as he does so, he fits more and more of his body into the vending machine (so much so he's a contortionist etc.).

    ... the whole story concerns this guys desperate and increasingly stupid attempts to get his snack out, ultimately ending in his death - cut back to the morgue, and now the audiences sees the body of the guy completely trapped inside the vending machine...

    To be, your components have this almost natural relationship, and they put me in mind of the Darwin Awards - check them out:

    If you look at this idea - you'll see that all the components you were given are actuating creating the story - not just hovering at the margins. This is your challenge, Ridge - not just to come up a story, but to create one proactively from looking at the associations and relationships between the three things - it's where original stories come from - from collisions and combinations.