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After the rant to myself last week, there was no way I could face myself anymore, without answering the question what it was going to be. You’re either onboard now, for the whole enchilada or you have to resign, quit. You’re either in or out. No self-respecting person can come back in the room and continue to stall, not deliver, keep on whining about why it’s not working, why she’s not writing. I have no excuse. Not at this stage anymore.
It was the weirdest thing, but then this week somehow I felt that the characters were actually speaking to me, they were calling on me, I could see them all standing on the set, in the opening sequence I have written already, and they were looking at me, asking me why they weren’t allowed to move, they were ready, ready to move, to act, to put the story into action. Heck, it is their story. They want to live it out. As if they know more than me, the story is already there, I just have to write it out on paper. Their stories are already, their stories are set, they are already alive, I just document it as I see it unfolding, happening. Ready when you are, they’re saying to me. Just say the word.
I also felt that I wanted to write out the story as is. As it is, as I thought of it. No changes for now. Forget about the Hitchcock resemblance (Day 18 # Accidentally Hitchcock), screw the other movie (Week 13 # A Bump In The Road…Or Not?)(I mean, forget about that is has a resemblance, the movie was one of the most striking movies I have seen in a long time and definitely worth seeing, my story is different enough and if not, well, we’ll cross that bridge when we get there). Also I want it still to go deep, as I planned in the first place. Deep characters. And stick with not leaning on dialogue so much. Stick with pure cinema if I can. Also I ran into an item in the news this week, related to what is in my story. And I wasn’t looking for it. It was just there. Like a hint. Well, that’s how I saw it. Hence the decision to sticking with this story and as is.
The trip is not going to be easy for the characters. Perhaps this was also one of the reasons why I was stalling. It’s not a happy story. And that’s not nice, to take them on that journey, although I haven’t decided on all of their fates yet. Because they have began to grow on me. Especially the main character. We’ve been getting to know each other over the past months in my mind. He knows I don’t mean him harm. His life is his life and it almost feels as if I have nothing to do with that. It is almost as if what will happen is the only right outcome, as if it was written in the stars. Wow, this sounds heavy. I’m not going to give too much away, because I assume (as one should) that this screenplay, this story will be put on screen one day and then I will have spoiled too much. But I can say this, I am leaning more towards a tragedy than a comedy, when speaking in the old terms of drama, it was either one or the other. It either had a good ending or a bad ending. But that still doesn’t tell you much, because bad for whom?
With that in the back of my mind, I happened to catch Monsters Inc. (2001) on TV also this week and even though I have seen it, let’s say, about 36 times, I now clearly noticed how Mike and Sulley are going from bad to worse to even worse from the moment Boo clings to Sulley’s back at the ‘inciting incident’. And in particular how they too, like any normal ‘human being’, choose the path of least resistance at first. It is build into nature to choose the path of least resistance, to save energy. And there’s no difference here. They try to solve the ‘problem’, getting it, the child, Boo back to her room, as easy as possible, without being discovered by the CDA, but then are opposed with more and higher obstacles at every attempt. And the ‘nice’ thing about this, through it all, the relationship between Boo and Sulley is becoming stronger and stronger and we the audience are getting more and more into it, with every ‘failed attempt’, we begin to root more and more for them, wanting them to succeed as well, more and more. There is no ‘Mary Sue’-ing here. They struggle to get to their goal. And that is what we the audience like to see. Because we struggle in life, most of us anyways. Not many of us get what they want on the first try. At least not often. So, we can relate when a character is ‘like us’.
I then thought of that I too should make it harder and harder for at least my main character to get to where he wants to go. No Mary Sue’s, no days in the parc, no picnics. I personally don’t want those struggles. I have been through some that I’m thinking to put him through. I should make it even harder for him. Up the ante. And then some. *SPOILER ALERT* The climactic scene from The Truman Show (1998) comes to mind, where Truman is almost being drowned through a storm, brought on by Christof, in an angry attempt to prevent him from leaving, to let Truman reach his goal.
So, I should push play and send them on their way and then with all I have got throw as many obstacles at them as I can. Make it difficult for them. Make their lives difficult. As by one of Robert McKee’s commandments: thou shalt not make life easy for thine protagonist.
One other feeling that came over me was that of ‘I don’t want it to be over’. The story. Once it’s told, it’s out there, it will be done. It’s like when you’re going to go to camp and already missing it and you haven’t even gone yet. Just saying. Not stalling more. Just saying. I will write. I will. I will.