Author Box
Articles Categories
All Categories
Articles Resources

Your Screenplay Is A Circle

November 25, 2011 | Comments: 0 | Views: 125

You are having problems with your screenplay. You know how it begins, but the middle and the end have you at a loss. I can tell you this much. The place that you start should be the place where you finish.

A good script is a perfect circle and allow me to explain how and why.

You story will most like begin with your characters living in their idea world. A perfectly calm existence is shattered and it is a never ending scramble to return to that perfect life.

Sounds crazy?

Remember the Godfather?

The opening scenes?

The family is happy and intact. They are celebrating a wedding. The Godfather and is inner circle are in total control of a world that is going to be attacked from both outside and within. This world is destroyed. The Godfather is shot. Sonny, his oldest son is killed, his enforcer is killed and his youngest son Michael is beaten. From this point on there is a never ending quest by those left standing to put their universe back into its proper order.

The last scene of the film, after all the violence and bloodshed, is Michael in his father's place as Godfather conducting business as his father did when the film began. All is right with the world. The natural order has been restored.

You can look at a saga like Lord of The Rings and the same holds true. Where does that story begin? Home, comfortable and safe. After an endless quest where does it end up. Frodo and Sam back to where they started. Missing a finger here and a lot of bruises there they are back to the perfect world that they had to flee.

Some stories begin with that perfect world already shattered and through flashbacks it is revealed through out the story. The character is forever trying to find away to or back to their idea world. Some characters do not realize that their world was great until they venture outside of their comfort zone and after having all of their illusions shattered to they really appreciate what they had going for them. A great example of this is in the minor UK classic Mona Lisa starring Bob Hoskins.

Your characters do not travel along an arc if the story is going to be great and memorable, they travel along a circle. That circle traveled in the Wizard of Oz. Dorothy has to leave home to realize that there is no place like home.

Send your characters on grand adventures, but always keep the end zone in sight. The place that they are headed looks a great deal like the place that they have just left behind.

I am not suggesting that it should be a steady walk toward the place that they just left. Put obstacles in their way. See if they can jump through an endless series of hoops, but at the end of it all if they have proven themselves worthy let them come home. They do not need a hero's welcome, but they need to return to the world where they feel most welcome. There is a line in one of the greatest of all westerns, Ride the High Country, where the lead say that all he wants at the end of the day is to come home Justified. He wants to go off into the world, do what his code of honor will allow him to do and come back home knowing that he could not have done things any other way.

Look at Michael in the Godfather or Sam in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy both of these characters did things their way. Always guided by their own personal code and in the end they make it back to a world where they belong.

The greatest stories ever told are not straight lines. They are not rocky hills and valleys, but as Scarlett traveled in Gone With the Wind, they are a full circles and the fuller the better.

I am a part time film maker who have 2 blogs about the subject. One is concerned with screenwriting and the other film making.

Source: EzineArticles
Was this Helpful ?

Rate this Article

Article Tags:



Screen Wrting


Movie Making

A speech is similar to an essay, except that a speech is meant to be spoken, while an essay is meant to be read. If you wish to write a great speech that will impress your audience till the end and

By: Denize Rodricks l Writing & Speaking > Writing l December 07, 2012 lViews: 254

The ability to writing great headlines hold the key to getting people to read your article or sales copy - whether you publish it online, send as email or even print it on a magazine. Learn how you

By: Prince John l Writing & Speaking > Creative Writing l July 10, 2012 lViews: 246

Unemployment rate in India has been one of the most terrible problems that it has been facing since its independence. Corruption and crime has increase manifold due to the unemployment factor.

By: Vaibhav P. Bhadange l Writing & Speaking > Creative Writing l July 10, 2012 lViews: 383

Four out of five adults say they have a book inside them. Only two percent actually write and publish their masterpiece. Talk is cheap. Just do it!

By: Ted Bowman l Writing & Speaking > Creative Writing l July 09, 2012 lViews: 217

You have wanted to see your book in print for years and now, thanks to self-publishing, you reached this goal. Now you must market your book, an uphill climb for any author, especially a new one.

By: Harriet Hodgson l Writing & Speaking > Book Marketing l July 08, 2012 lViews: 241

Choosing the right creative writing program could compensate for copywriting in businesses, although, it is a whole different course subject. By being successful in such a competitive industry you

By: Edward Joseph l Writing & Speaking > Creative Writing l July 06, 2012 lViews: 221

Most scriptwriters think to attach a star to their movie script they should start with the star's agent, but don't bother starting there. Many writers want to connect star power and get a star actor

By: Lena Banksl Writing & Speaking > Screenwritingl June 27, 2012 lViews: 196

A creative screenwriter starts the creative process with an idea. A screenwriter with one or more creative ideas can generate a story that could be converted into a script. The idea must be clear and

By: John Halaszl Writing & Speaking > Screenwritingl June 22, 2012 lViews: 137

A screenplay doctor has nothing to do with the health sector. A screenplay doctor works in the movie industry and refers to someone who has a particular writing skill and offers their services. Some

By: John Halaszl Writing & Speaking > Screenwritingl June 22, 2012 lViews: 135

Script doctoring was first revealed to the public in 1973 during the American Academy Awards ceremony when Francis Ford Coppola thanked Bob Towne for his script doctoring for "The Godfather" This

By: John Halaszl Writing & Speaking > Screenwritingl June 22, 2012 lViews: 167

Successful screenplay writers utilize screenplay consulting before submitting their screenplay to a production company. Screenplay consulting is undertaken by screenplay professionals with industry

By: John Halaszl Writing & Speaking > Screenwritingl June 22, 2012 lViews: 138

A script consultant is entrusted to verify screenplay scripts to ensure that poor scripts are not selected for shooting. Some scripts appear flawless and easy to shoot, but the consultant will be

By: John Halaszl Writing & Speaking > Screenwritingl June 15, 2012 lViews: 188

The problem with many screenplays these days is that they loose focus. These scripts promise one thing and a third of the way through dismiss the opening premise. Jaws is about a killer shark and it

By: Rodney Cannonl Writing & Speaking > Screenwritingl December 08, 2011 lViews: 101