'Plaint of the Playwright

'Plaint of the Playwright

[ Monday, January 14, 2002 ]

I got some more script notes on "Welcome To The Terror Dome" from some friends.

Brandon, one of my co-workers read it and told me he "couldn't put it down," so that's cool.

Another friend (a fellow WilWheaton.net crony), Misty Mills, had this to say:

If I didn't know you had a warped mind already, I'd wonder what the hell was wrong with you. :)

I get that a lot.

Actually, it's pretty damn good. I liked it. Aside from a typo on the top of page 62, I just have comments of how much I enjoyed it.


Nyx is a loon. She reminds me of my ex-roommate, actually. I guess it's a good thing she isn't my roommate anymore. ;)

To explain for folks who haven't read the script, Nyx is a character in the script; she's a sad, deranged, teenage girl who may or may not have been having affair with the husband of Polly, the main character.

More comments as they come.

I also got and interesting email from Jesse, a fellow writer, about "where ideas come from," and whether or not to outline.

What I told him was:

There are scriptwriters who refuse to use outlines. These people rarely finish scripts.

Here's how I usually write (this is copied verbatum from my email, but there you go):

Usually, I come up with a lot of ideas at once…I had an image of a woman in a chair, flanked by two men carrying shotguns, then of a teenage girl with a Polaroid camera, then I had some general ideas about teenage violence, and such…

I write all these down and then I start.

Once I start, I can tell if I want to keep going with it. If I do, then I outline.

My outlines usually look like this:

…you get the idea.

With “Terror Dome,” I did it different.

I actually tried writing without an outline—but then decided that that was dumb—so I just started a new kind of outline, that went page-by-page.

The following is a section of my actual outline for "Welcome To The Terror Dome:"

Pg. 58—Almo heads to bathroom.
Pg. 59—Masks of BadAss start to slip.
Pg. 60—“Why’d you say all that stuff?”
Pg. 61—Futility of Education.
Pg. 62—“Why stay with your husband?”
Pg. 63—“Why is Almo so loyal?”
Pg. 64— Ives and Almo: How We Met.
Pg. 65—Nyx Returns.
Pg. 66—Almo: “I took a quick trip to the can, and when I got back, we were surrounded.”
Pg. 67—“Everyone leave now.” Takes ALMO’S shotgun. Ives to Almo: “I’ll give you mine.”
Pg. 68—Ooh, what she did.
Pg. 69—Poloroids.
Pg. 70—Choking.
Pg. 71—At this point, anything can happen.

I left a point in the outline that gave me a wild card.

I’ve heard friends give all sorts of reasons why they can’t outline—my favorite one is “but then I’m stuck having to write what’s on the outline!”

Who says?

“But then I have to change the outline… (whine)”

Whatever, dude. Like it’s SO much work.

And if you kids don't shut up back there, I'm turing this car around and nobody gets to click here.

posted by Rob on 3:21 PM | link



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