Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Endings again

Okay this screenplay is officially driving me nuts. I really liked my last draft, but now I don't anymore. I had that high of finishing in a better way than what I had, but now, I dunno. Nobody likes my ending. And after thinking about it, I don't like my ending either. Fickle? Yes. And terribly confused.

I've spent the past two days setting aside every moment of free thought to figuring out my ending. I thought of weird shit and romantic shit and turning bad guys into good guys and turning my final battle scene into a Bollywood dance number, but nothing seems to work.

I emailed people I trust asking for help. I posted my problem on Done Deal. I tossed and turned in my sleep, imagining what scenario could bring about my proper ending. And someone at Done Deal had the best advice so far, the most simple advice I should have thought of on my own - look at the theme. What's my theme? That should give me my ending.

And you know something? I've been having trouble with my theme. I can't quite figure out what I want it to be, so I've been half-assing a bunch of them.

Traffic was particularly bad today so while I was stuck in the car in the middle of STORMWATCH 2010, in which we all freak the fuck out because somebody saw some lightening (Actual question from one of my students: "Where does the thunder go?") and I thought some more about my theme and my story and stuff.

And I had an idea. I'm not going to say it's THE idea because I've done that too many times already with too many failed ideas, but I hope I have something here because I'm really tired of trying to be clever.


  1. Anonymous10:46 PM

    He who would climb the ladder must begin at the bottom...................................................

  2. Emily,

    You probably get this a lot but I will throw it out there anyways. I would be thrilled to read whatever you have and shoot you some thoughts. I’m not a professional but I like good stories and received full marks on all my reviews at Triggerstreet.

    I read your blog every day. Giving something back is the least I can do.

    Regardless, good luck, have fun and thanks for posting.


  3. Thanks, Jim!

    Actually I've cycled through all the people I had to read this and I don't usually like to have the same reader twice, so I'd love another person to take a crack at the next round. I'd appreciate it.

  4. By ending are you talking about the whole climax? Or the stuff that comes after the bad guy gets impaled but before the credits roll? It's the latter that always kills me...

  5. Hmm. I hadn't thought about impaling anybody, but now that you mention it....

    Actually I'm talking about the climax.

  6. Action movie rule 138. The bad guy must always get impaled...

    You know what. I actually posted some comments at donedeal.

    [I've been trying to avoid the messageboards and stick to the blogs until I get caught up on my writing. Thanks for enabling me. ;-)]

  7. The ending ... really I look at it a couple different ways ... the first being, the ending should be the answer to the CQ, the Central Question ... for example, the CQ of GLADIATOR is will Maximus get his revenge (in this life or the next). Once he goes, the movie must end soon.

    Or look at Hamlet ... will Hamlet avenge his father ... once he does, boom, it's over.

    Or Sixth Sense ... the CQ is will Malcolm help a boy who sees dead people? That's what the movie is about ... Malcolm's personal issues with his wife are a subplot, but the film is about a shrink helping a troubled kid ...

    The film climaxes, really, when he's able to do that and move on ... the twist ending is, of course, a coda, but not really the answer to the CQ, right?

    So what's your central question and what's the most interesting way to answer (resolve) it?

    The other way I look at endings is, what do I really want to say with this movie ... and by say, I don't mean words or speeches, but what's the essence of what I want to communicate from this experience ... whether it is killing zombies is cool, or there always is an ever after, or whatever ... you know?

  8. Don't you feed my own lesson plans back to me, Joshua James! How dare you, sir!

    Besides, I think Grant just solved my problem. All I need is someone to impale.


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