Lesson

10 Questions To Ponder Before CS

Below are ten questions you may consider before writing your draft in Creative Screenwriting (CS). Some of these will make sense after reading the scripts in Osmosis, copying a screenplay and transcribing a full-length film. Other questions may not seem immediately clear, and that’s fine. Just reflect on them, and try to understand from the films and scripts you have studied what exactly they are referencing.

During the final 15 days of Reverse Screenwriting, you will take notes, and 10 days before commencing your script (5 days after getting access to these questions), you will write a one-page Declaration of Intent (DoI). This will summarize all the things that are important to you about this script. You may look at it like the reports you wrote in Osmosis, but now anticipating this kind of information for the script you are about to write.

Five days before starting CS, you will refine the DoI, including a brief answer to most of the questions below.  While the story shapes up in your head, things may change, and you will adjust your notes.

During the first 10 days of CS, you will have to answer each question individually, one per day. If a question is not clear, or if you struggle with the answer, take time to reflect, talk to your buddy, or post your problem in the group.

The 10 Questions

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1. Main Character (MC)

Describe your main character visually, as well as in terms of strength(s) and weakness(es).

2. Major Event (ME)

What is the Major Event that happens to your main character, which triggers the story?

3. Visible Goal

What does the character want as a result? What is the visible/tangible goal they pursue during this story?

4. Stakes

What are the positive (what they have to win) and negative stakes (what they have to lose)?

5. Obstacles

What holds the main character back, in terms of external obstacles (antagonists) and internal obstacles (fears)?

6. Mid Point Reversal (MPR)

What is the big change that happens halfway the story, and how does this impact on the character’s behaviour/actions?

7. Ordeal

What happens at the darkest point of the story, when the character believes that the goal will never be achieved?

8. Finale

What is the main character’s final action, which brings the story to its end at the climax?

9. Emotion

What do you want the reader/audience to feel at the end of your story, in terms of specific emotion(s)?

10. Transformation

What major change(s) has your story brought to your main character, or to the world they live in?

Optional

Write a 500-word synopsis of the story you will write in Creative Screenwriting.

Upload Your Work

On the final day of Reverse Screenwriting (i.e. 150 days after starting the Immersion Course, and 30 days before finishing), upload your Declaration of Intent (and optionally your Synopsis) below.

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  1. Mike

    Woops. I have a synopsis as well but it’s in another document – I’ll put it here. Obviously reading it is optional.

    The Dry – 1 page synopsis.

    In a drought-plagued future Brooke Naulin, a head strong scientist, manages a run-down research facility in a dwindling rural town. Brooke is a leader in her community and it is slowly dying as people uproot and move to the major centres near the coast. Brooke’s brother Ryan is a traumatised ex-soldier who she does her best to watch over, but their relationship is strained.
    When a local couple is found brutally killed the only witness is a terrified 8-year-old girl, Olive, who fingers Ryan for the crime. Coupled with this shock is the realisation that the slain couple, against all probability, had recently discovered a water source somewhere on their property. A supply of water will save the town and Brooke assumes the responsibility of securing it while trying to locate Ryan, who has seemingly fled town.
    Brooke is sleeping with the town cop, Oscar. He’s a level headed nice guy who would like to start a life with Brooke. He takes Olive under his wing and assumes the role of protector. Brooke directs some of her staff to investigate the possible water source while she leaves town to try and find Ryan. A search of the property initially finds no sign of the purported water source and they are about to give up when an autopsy performed on the dead bodies reveals water in their lungs. They drowned. Olive, who only speaks to Oscar leads him to an old mineshaft that is covered with scrub… “In there”. A team enters the shaft and finds a well deep in the earth. Oscar arranges for it to be pumped out into a tanker.
    Brooke manages to find Ryan in some nearby hills and confronts him. He has obviously lost his mind and speaks gibberish, apologising for an unnamed offence. He is on edge and cries keeping Brooke at bay with a rifle. Before Brooke can stop him, Ryan shoots himself in the head. Brooke is in shock and while searching his camp she finds a dead body…it’s Olive. None of this adds up. Her brother was a sick man, but if he killed Olive, then who the hell was the girl back in town? She takes the bodies with her and leaves.
    Brooke returns to town and learns of the water that is being transferred to the town. She is scared of Olive and pulls Oscar aside to explain what’s happened. He does not believe it. Something has changed in the way he talks to Brooke and he refuses to listen. When Brooke takes him to see the bodies they have been taken. Some of the towns folk are also acting differently. As the water keeps coming into town it fills all the long dry takes and reservoirs and people start to go missing yet people seem unconcerned. They are under some kind of, supernatural influence from Olive. They accuse Brooke of being in league with Ryan and put her under house arrest.
    One night Brooke manages to escape and follow Olive and Ryan to the bank of a long dry creek that is now filled with water. She finds some kind of, nest that has been formed out of the bodies of the missing towns folk. There is a confrontation between Oscar and Brooke as she tries to kill Olive. Oscar shoots Brooke in the belly in the belief that she has gone crazy. As Brooke bleeds out on the bank of the river Olive kills Oscar, when her limbs seemingly turn to water and flood into his throat. Drowning him as she encircles his body and crushes him like a python…then she drags him into her nest. Brooke goes for Oscars gun while this is happening, she picks it up and fires at Olive. The bullet passes right through Olive and she remains unharmed. As the girl calmly approaches Brooke, she turns the gun on herself, crying she pulls the trigger…click…no bullet. Olive’s watery limbs cover Brookes mouth, muffling the screams as she dies.

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