CS open – spring edition


To keep my screenwriting muscles in use, I’ll keep doing the CS Open, or Cyberspace Open as it’s now called. That’s because I enjoy the thrill and I like Jim Cirile, mostly! 😉 This latest edition I didn’t do very well, though, probably because I was supposed to be in London and the Icelandic volcano destroyed my plans… but gave me this very silly idea for a scene. Formatting screwed as usual, premise first, then scene, then results.

Round 1 Scene Premise:

Your protagonist is crushed. His or her plans have been dashed; his objective now appears impossible. And yet if he throws in the towel, bad things will happen. Write a scene in which a mentor, friend, love interest or enemy rallies or provokes your protagonist in an unexpected way. Be sure to give us your best dialogue here as your protagonist comes around and rises – or falls — to the occasion.

Write on, and good luck!

MY SCENE:

INT. BETH’S APARTMENT – DAY

          Beth's PC is on, but she paces the room with a frown.

          Mary rushes in, breathless.

                              MARY
                    I came as fast as I could! What
                    happened?

          Beth points dramatically to the PC screen,

                              BETH
                    All flights canceled! I'll never
                    make it!

          Mary slumps herself on a chair.

                              MARY
                    Oh, well. I guess it wasn't meant
                    to be. You better reschedule, or
                    ask for a refund.

                              BETH
                    I can't! I must go!

          She sits at the PC and quickly types.

                              BETH
                    If I can get to Paris, maybe with
                    the Eurostar...

                              MARY
                    Beth, they won't change a flight to
                    London with a flight to Paris!

          Beth gapes at the screen.

                              BETH
                    198euro with the Eurostar! Plus the
                    new flight ticket!

                              MARY
                    Told ya. All this to use 60pounds
                    worth of workshops?

                              BETH
                    It wasn't only the workshops, but
                    London... I mean, I had plans...

          Beth shakes her head with a sigh.

                              MARY
                    I know, you wanted to meet Mr
                    Wonderful out there.

                              BETH
                    Well, he could be there waiting for
                    me, and I'm going to miss him!

                              MARY
                    Maybe he won't be at that specific
                    event and-

                              BETH
                    Wait, I'll see if they can
                    reschedule the masterclass!

                              MARY
                    What if they don't?

                              BETH
                    Gee, thank you for the optimism!
                    I'll ask Alice to go for me...

                              MARY
                    So she can find your Mr Wonderful?

                              BETH
                    No, don't be silly, but at least
                    she can take notes at the
                    masterclass.

                              MARY
                    Sounds like a plan.

          Beth quickly types some more, then stares at the computer
          screen with another sigh.

                              BETH
                    I really hoped to spend the
                    week-end in London... I had to meet
                    people and...

                              MARY
                    Yes, yes, I know...

          She pats her friend on her shoulder.

                              MARY
                    You can't always have it all,
                    hon...

THE RESULTS: 85 points

The problem with this scene is that we’re not very clear about what Beth’s essential objective is, and why it’s so terrible that her plans have to change. Also, Mary doesn’t really suggest a plan of action, just kind of comforts her… which is less than engaging, and doesn’t really address the competition prompt.

2 Comments

  1. What an amazing discovery you are. Thanks for the great info. I’ve always wanted to have a go at screenwriting, but it seems so difficult to master.
    x Lisa

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    • you can check more about the CSOpen following the tag (and the Hollywood tag)… screenwriting isn’t hard per se it-s the movie pacing and frame that killed my imagination! 😦

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