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annacrusis 12-06-2017 03:17 PM

Bad Case of Writers Block
 
Hi y'all,
I've been working on this screenplay for a few months, and I've just sorta stalled. I know how it ends and how it begins, but I can't seem to figure out the second and third acts of the film. I'm beginning to wonder if I should just scrap the entire thing and start over. I really love the concept behind my idea, but I don't know if its working.

So far, my film is about a woman named Harper, who, after being fired from her job and finding her boyfriend in bed with two other women, is forced to move home with her mother, with whom she has a troubled relationship. Upon arriving home, she meets Delilah, a teenage foster kid who lives down the street from her mother. After accepting a teaching assistant job for her former drama teacher, Harper finds herself drawn to the girl, and together they begin to heal the broken parts of their lives.

I've toyed with Harper and Delilah making a film together, or trying to save the environment, or making a documentary, but nothing seems right.

I was wondering if anyone could give me some guidance.

Thanks.

Filman 12-06-2017 03:50 PM

You don't mention how it ends, but I see what you're looking for, from the information you give.

Harper can't keep a man in her life. Her mother made her this way and she finds the answer in Delilah. It ends with a new boyfriend who respects her for who she truly is. All thanks to what she discovers through Delilah.

Velusion 12-06-2017 04:03 PM

Harper discovers that Delilah is a robot from the future. The two of them move to the North Pole where Harper turns Delilah into a space heater and Cappuccino machine.

mlesemann 12-06-2017 04:16 PM

Making a film together is good, or possibly Delilah gets cast in the school play, which Harper is helping to direct? Drama teacher gets sick or is over-committed so Harper must take on more/most of the responsibility for the play. She and Delilah clash at some point. One or both of them walk off the project at some point. The production of the play isn't perfect (not everything that Harper hoped it would be) but it does get done and thus is a success and a major step forward for both of them.

Just an idea....

indietalk 12-06-2017 04:52 PM

Sometimes it's not an actual block but a lack of stimulation. Change your environment and spitball off others.

Alcove Audio 12-06-2017 06:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by indietalk (Post 431593)
Sometimes it's not an actual block but a lack of stimulation. Change your environment and spitball off others.

How's your research coming? Lots of reading/viewing of the problems of foster kids, dysfunctional familial relationships, teachers assistants and high school theatre?

Dig into the problems of foster kids; they are myriad. (When I was a teen we would take in transitional young foster kids - we didn't have the room for permanent foster kids, but at least we were a safe place until they did find a foster home.)

Hell, dysfunctional families make up half the sitcoms and dramas on TV. Even serious problems come up in "normal" families - illness/injury, mental illness (or brain disease as some are now calling it), financial problems, etc.

Any time you get into the educational system there are rules and regulations too numerous to mention coming from federal, state and local authorities - many of them contradictory. Trust me; my sister-in-law was a teacher, then a special ed teacher, then an administrator. She used to bitch continuously about them.

My youngest daughter is deeply involved in the theatre program at high school. (She was Phoebe in "As You Like It" back in October, she's in "High School Musical" next week, playing Ryan on Wednesday, Jackie on Thursday.) The backstage "drama" can really take a toll on the kids as well as the school staff involved.

And yeah, I know that it'll probably be garbage, but just write anything. As a mentor of mine once told me, get the crap out of your system. After all the crap is gone the good stuff comes next. Conversely, look through all of your rejected material. Who knows, there might be a diamond or two in the cesspool.

Try lampooning your own project. If it's a drama, write it as comedy or horror. Toss in something really stupid just to liven the mix. I've done that with music - turn a soft ballad into a heavy metal thrasher, for example. And I've done it with films - turn all the men into munchkins and all the women into James Earl Jones (with formant/pitch-shifting); replace gunshots with fart noises (I laughed harder than anyone at Dr. Nefarios Fart Gun in "Despicable me"), modern cars with Model T sounds, etc. The results are good for the gag reel and to gain new perspective on your project.

On top of all of that, get away from it for a while. Do things completely unrelated to your script. Refresh yourself physically, mentally and emotionally. Try something new and different, it may change your perspective.

annacrusis 12-06-2017 08:10 PM

Thank you guys for all the advice.
I was visualizing the ending as Harper and her mother repairing their relationship, and being closer than ever. I was also thinking about them welcoming Delilah officially into their family.
I've done some research, and I am utilizing a lot of personal experience and background knowledge. I think I need to take a new perspective on it.
Thanks again.

indietalk 12-06-2017 08:11 PM

Good luck!

Alcove Audio 12-06-2017 08:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by annacrusis (Post 431602)
Thank you guys for all the advice. I was visualizing the ending as Harper and her mother repairing their relationship, and being closer than ever. I was also thinking about them welcoming Delilah officially into their family.

Personally I don't usually go for that type of all-tied-up-in-a-bright-red-bow happy ending. Much too Hallmark/OWN channels. I much prefer that things work out for now, but leave the future hanging, perhaps with some (happy?) foreshadowings. More realistic. But that's just me; what the hell do I know?

Good luck!

mussonman 12-06-2017 10:02 PM

Start over, completely fresh, then combine the best of your different drafts.

Panos 12-07-2017 09:12 AM

In my opinion it seems that you don't have a core idea - ending that would give you tremendous motivation to complete the script. Try to find an amazing ending (not less than amazing..) and anything else will come as a waterfall in your mind.

Velusion 12-07-2017 10:02 AM

Quote:

In my opinion it seems that you don't have a core idea - ending that would give you tremendous motivation to complete the script. Try to find an amazing ending (not less than amazing..) and anything else will come as a waterfall in your mind.
I agree. I think a writer should know what point A is and what point Z is. All points in between are negotiable but you really should have a reason for writing the story in the first place.

buscando 12-07-2017 04:26 PM

Have you tried writing it from the kid's point of view?
Maybe the 1st half shows the woman's, then the 2nd half is the kid's.
Or versa vice.


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