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Showing posts from October, 2014

I'm just doing it

So I'm sitting here trying to cram in enough work to at least get a solid first draft of this month's quality 3-page, and I finally had enough. That's not quality. It wouldn't be close to quality. 
Quality stuff was never really supposed to be too far beyond first draft, but it was supposed to be a *good* first draft, you know? Like, not one that you've pumped out, one that you've taken your time with, chewed it over, thought about for a while. So that's what I'm doing.
From now on, while I'll still be working on various Quality stuff (with a probable exception for loglines, after I get everything back to multiples of 5), I won't have any deadlines for any of it. It'll be done when it's done.

Logline 138 - Living History

When a failing archaeologist finds out that she's descended from legendary pirate Blackbeard and that the treasure her grandfather talked about was real, she travels to the Caribbean to find it and save her career.

Logline 137 - Stealing from a God

An ancient Greek revolutionary raids the Great Pyramids to acquire the wealth he needs to finance his revolution. There's no way those things are actually cursed, right?

Logline 136 - Hide Your Booty

After a wildly successful raid, the first mate of a pirate ship has a dickens of a time figuring out where to hide her treasure that it won't be found, but she'll still have access to it.

Logline 135 - A Heist to Remember

A veteran bank robber wants to rob Fort Knox so that she'll go down in history - and a rookie FBI agent wants to stop her for the same reason.

Logline 134 - The Treasures of the Ancients

In a post-apocalyptic world, a treasure hunter finds evidence of a secret bunker holding all of the Smithsonian's greatest treasures, and tries to find it amid the bandits and raiders who have colonized the remains of Washington DC. 

3-Page Treatment 23 - Streets of Gold

Whoops! Forgot to put this up on Saturday! Oh well, it's going up now.

This one, I don't feel like is living up to its full potential. After finishing it, I came to the conclusion that, rather than the 90-page screenplay I designed, this should totally have been the 120-page epic the logline implied. That would've been a lot more work, though, even for a 3-page treatment, so it ended up being this.

Which brings me to something that's sort of off-topic, but also relevant: I'm considering cutting Quality stuff. Mostly because, it's really not quality; it's just more quantity, and it's leading to all my other quantity stuff suffering. I think a real Quality counterpart to my system would have no time limits; it's just done when it's done. So rather than cutting it all, I may just, cut the deadlines? We'll see what happens. Just know I'm thinking about it.

Anyway, the original logline for this treatment:
The story of a Spanish conquistador wh…

Logline 133 - Staking Claims

During the California gold rush, a young Chinese immigrant sets out to make her fortune - by opening a restaurant to cater to the gold-seekers.

Weekly Theme: Treasure Hunters

This week's theme is treasure hunters. There are a lot of great movies about treasure hunters and temple raiders, people trying to find pirate gold or legendary emeralds. This week's loglines will all be about people like Indiana Jones, Jack Sparrow, or Joan Wilder.

Logline 132 - Back Home

A murderer who fled his country struggles to find a place for himself in foreign society with values completely the opposite of his own.

Logline 131 - Solitary Confinement

An inmate locked in solitary confinement reflects on how he got there as he slowly gives in to insanity.

Logline 130 - That Girl with Amnesia

When a young woman with amnesia wanders into a small town in Utah, everybody does what they can to figure out who she is and where she came from. But as time passes and she finds a place for herself in the town, they stop helping her remember, and start hoping she doesn't.

Logline 129 - Everybody Dies Alone

When a dying old man suffering from intense dementia winds up in the hospital, a nurse searches tries to find the old man's family in time for them to be with him as he dies.

Logline 128 - The Slow Sadness

When a young woman is widowed three months after moving to the other side of the world, she's forced to rely entirely on strangers in order to survive.

Logline 127 - The Queen's Army

When a young thief is exiled from her city-state, she pretends to instead be an exiled queen, and raises an army to retake "her" city. 

Weekly Theme: All Alone

This week's loglines all have to do with being alone, whether it's a high school outcast struggling for acceptance, a castaway on a deserted island, or a lone conspiracy theorist who's the only one who sees what's really happening.

3-Page Treatment 22 - Queen of Air and Darkness

This week's treatment was rough. I think it was the intrigue of it. I had to figure out three different characters' plots and plans and how they interacted with each other. I'm sure I could've done it better, but I think it came out okay for only a week's worth of time.

But yeah no, this treatment in particular could've benefited from more time. But them's the breaks, and like I said, it came out okay. I'm not ashamed of it or anything, and it definitely came out a lot better than it would've twenty-two weeks ago!

The original logline:A young human woman, kidnapped as an infant and raised by fairies, maneuvers in the fairy courts in a bid to take the throne of a fairy queen.

Logline 126 - The Far Shore

On an island nation whose people never leave sight of shore, a young woman sails to the mainland in search of her long-missing sister.

Logline 125 - Murderer

A time traveler goes back to the year 1880 to kill Adolph Hitler's mother, but finds it difficult to go through with the deed, given that she's done - and will do - nothing wrong.

Logline 124 - Colonials

When a colony ship that failed to find a habitable planet returns to earth after hundreds of years, its people are forced to integrate with a society that's completely foreign to them.

Logline 123 - Streets of Gold

The story of a Spanish conquistador who arrives in the New World as a young man, and spends the rest of his life searching for a mythical city made entirely out of gold.

Logline 122 - The Elfking

When a dying woman is visited by the man whose life she saved as a little girl, he offers her one wish. She has to decide what she wants to wish for, while trying to figure out who the man is.

Logline 121 - The Envoy

When the new queen finds out that her predecessor humiliated and executed Genghis Khan's envoy who had come seeking peaceful trade, she personally makes the perilous journey to his court to petition him for mercy.

Weekly Theme: Distant Lands

This week's loglines will all have to do with distant lands and foreign nations, whether that just means the protagonist is somewhere far from home, or if it's about an attack from a previously unknown enemy from over the mountains.

3-Page Treatment 21 - The Rat King

This treatment is my best yet, I think. Like, maybe "best" is a little strong, but it's a strong story that's been written well. Compared to my other stuff, that is.

I consider this the real firstfruits of my new method. See for yourself, tell me what you think.

The logline:
When the members of the Virtue Squad, a superhero team, are all killed by a new supervillain, their sidekicks and powerless allies are the only ones left to stop the villain.



Logline 120 - Queen of Clubs

When a wealthy young heiress is cut off from the family funds, she turns to professional gambling to sustain her extravagant way of life. 

Logline 119 - King of the World

When a powerless young prince stumbles across a genie who grants him three wishes, his first wish is to be the king of the world - but it winds up being more responsibility - not to mention more dangerous - than he expected.

Logline 118 - King of the Sea

When a viking king abandons his throne to become a pirate, his son and daughter both follow suit. But when his children conspire against him and seize control of the coastline, he's forced to ally with his former kingdom to stop them.

Logline 117 - Empress of the Village

The beloved empress of a mighty realm cedes the throne to her son and retires to her birthplace: a small village in the mountains. All she wants is a quiet retirement, but her stature keeps bringing her - and the village - attention.

Ranking 3 Page Treatments 18-21

So we just realized that Teddy's schedule got a little wonky due to our vacation. Whoops! So this last Saturday was supposed to be the day I ranked the Treatments again, but I knew there weren't 5 new ones yet (because he didn't do one our vacation week) so I didn't rank them. He's still figuring out how to adjust his schedules. For now, I will rank!


Treatment 18
Treatment 19
Treatment 20
Treatment 21/Quality 2

The Mantle of Power This one just didn't stand out. I think the characters were just too weak for me. I didn't get most of their motivations or relationships.
The White Wind I helped with this one! So, maybe I'm biased, but I really like it. I like the twist that the bad guy was supposed to have been the best friend. I like her becoming more spirit like through the whole treatment. I like it.
That Time of the Month The title is so punny. Oh so punny.
I really liked this one. You do definitely hear more "Teddy" in it. The only downside is, i…

Logline 116 - Queen of Air and Darkness

A young human woman, kidnapped as an infant and raised by fairies, maneuvers in the fairy courts in a bid to take the throne of a fairy queen.

Logline 115 - King of the Jungle

When a tourist in India is attacked by a wild tiger, the town she's staying in bands together to find and kill the tiger - all while she's trying to stop them.

Weekly Theme: Royalty (again, but different! I guess)

This week's loglines will all have a title of "[Royal] of [Something]." So King of the Hill, for example, or Queen of the Nile. The topics won't necessarily be literal royalty, but should still evoke that feeling.

10-Page Treatment 4 - Mars or Bust

Oh man! Number four. On Monday I start my first screenplay. Well, I mean, fourth screenplay, but first screenplay from this writing plan! Exciting!

As for this treatment, it's short, but I think that's because it doesn't need to be longer, and not because I'm, like, lazy. I really like how it turned out, but if I choose it to turn into a screenplay,* I'm going to want to brush up on NASA and space and that sort of thing. It's definitely a kids' movie, so I don't have to be Hard Sci-Fi accurate, but I'd like to make something that people who know NASA would enjoy, rather than roll their eyes at.

On that note, I'm worried the Sally and Petunia subplot is a little off. Having never been to public school, all of my knowledge is based off of hearsay and movies, so I suspect that part of the world will end up a little cliche if I'm not careful.

All in all, though, like I said, I like it.

The original logline:
When a 12-year-old girl invents a propu…

Quality 3-Page Treatment 2 - In the Line of Fire

I'm not very good at bowling. I never have been. When I was younger, I didn't even know how to throw the ball. I'd use two hands and rock it between my legs, like throwing a basketball granny style. I got good enough with it that I could pretty consistently score in the 90s.

Then, when I learned the proper way to throw a bowling ball, my scores dropped even lower, because I was so unfamiliar with how to do it. It felt like I was going backwards, but once I got used to it, I was able to consistently score over 100. Not a huge jump, but a jump nonetheless.
(Full disclosure, I haven't been bowling in years now, and would probably be lucky to get a 70). 
With this treatment - and the Quantity one, but especially with this one - I feel like I'm learning how to do things properly, and it's hurting my game for the moment. I switched up my normal style two, two and a half times while writing this treatment, and it definitely suffered for it. 
But at the same time, ther…

3-Page Treatment 20 - That Time of the Month

This treatment is the first one I wrote entirely trying a new method of outlining, and I think it's clear that I'm still figuring things out. That said - and while maybe this sounds a little arrogant? - I really love how much of my voice was able to come through in the treatment. Which is to say, any.

I'm not normally one to say extensive outline strangles creativity, but in my case, it definitely has hampered my voice. By "voice," here, I mean a writer's unique way of phrasing and explaining things. I'm not experienced enough to have a strong voice, but I feel like everything I wrote before came off as vaguely clinical, whereas this definitely is more "Teddy."

So hopefully in the future I'll be able to develop that more, while still getting the structural quality of my earlier treatments.

The original logline:
An adopted Canadian girl discovers she's a werewolf, and goes on a quest among the supernatural community to find out about her h…

Logline 114 - Becoming

As an immortal sorcerer quests to become a god over a period of centuries, generations of heroes rise up against him, struggling not only against him, but against fear, despair, anger, and themselves.

Logline 113 - Pencils in Space

When Cold War Soviets create a psychic spy, the USA has to figure out how they did it, while avoiding - or ideally, finding - the spy himself.

Supervillainy

Yeah, so, the mob doesn't count as having superpowers in today's logline. But I'm allowing it, on the basis of it still fitting the feeling of "Weak person against overwhelming odds."

So there.

Logline 112 - The Banker

When a young bank clerk figures out that the Mob is laundering money through the bank she works at, she has to get the information to the police before the Mob catches her.