Friday, April 01, 2011

Friday Forays in Fiction: Script Frenzy Begins


So Script Frenzy started at midnight. To my extreme surprise I had my 3 page quota by noon. I've spent the time I've been awake since late afternoon tweaking it and then trying to get it to display here in screenplay format which is apparently impossible. By using align center, quote and quote inside quote I got an approximation. The worst offender left is the dialog which is supposed to be only about three inches wide and indented so it is almost centered yet is still left aligned while the lines wrap after only 30 odd characters. There are supposed to be no blank lines between the parentheticals and the dialog but using the quote function creates them. The only thing I think might solve this is to insert each dialog from character name to end of speech inside a table to control the margins.


As I mentioned earlier this week I'm setting this in the story world of my 2008 NaNo novel, Mobile Hopes. Though much of the story I have in mind is not the same and some old characters will not be included while new ones will be created, I decided to start with one of my fav characters and use the interior monologue ramble I wrote in her voice--not as part of the novel itself but a 'get to know her' exercise--to open this script.

I liked it so much, I posted Gerta's ramble as a snippet of my NaNo novel in 2008. You can read the whole thing here. If you read both it and the script excerpt below you will notice that one short paragraph of the monologue has taken me to 3 whole pages of script. If that becomes a trend I should get 30 pages of script out of it. Then I could extend the script by adding to her ramble or using one or more of the other character's rambles.

Mobile Hopes
a screenplay
by Joy Renee
(excerpt)

EXT. MOBILE HOME PARK DAY


GERTA, an elderly woman with hunched shoulders sits in a wheel chair under a porch awning fussing with the buttons on a frilly silk dress. In her lap is a small pouch from which she pulls small wrapped candies and pops them in her mouth.

The sky is deep blue with very few wispy clouds. A heat shimmer rises off the asphalt of the lane meandering between two rows of trailer homes set so close together a tall man could reach out and touch his neighbor's house while standing on the edge of his driveway.

Intermittently are heard the pops, sizzles, crackles, booms and high-pitched whistles of fireworks.

A clash of music and voices eminate from boom boxes, car stereos and TV sets by open windows.

Dogs bark and growl. Cats hiss and yowl. Chases ensue between some unleashed ones.

Filling the air are hoots, hollers, honks, whispers, whines, whistles, small children's squeals and teen's screams, adult's laughter, pre-teen giggles, and voices of every timbre from soft as a whisper to loud as the calling across the lane from one porch to another.

Gerta sits next to a rail that is just a yard or two from the edge of the lane watching the action.

GERTA (V.O.)
(whining)
I don't know why I'm here. It's too hot. It's too crowded. It's too noisy. All those pops and whistles. The yammer yammer. And all those kids running and yelling.
(with disgust)
The mouths on them too. Land's sake. It's like they got not much more than a four word vocabulary and the first three are Me, I, and my. And the forth one. Land of Goshen Papa woulda made em chew the bar of soap! My skin wants to crawl right off me. I don't know why I can't just go home.


MONTAGE LANE GERTA'S POV


Children and adults of all ages stream in both directions at times forming eddies that hold in place as they stop to chat, allow their leashed pets, toddlers or babies in strollers to commune.

Children between 3 and 13 circle each other on bikes, trikes, scooters and skates. Teens over 13 travel in packs that swirl, coalesce and break apart with some walking backward in front of others.

The couples among them entwine arms or fingers despite the heat. Some walk with hips touching and hands inside each others back pockets. Sometimes a boy carries a girl piggyback.

Many of all ages are dressed in swim wear with towels wrapped around waists (girls and women) or necks (boys and men) or shoulders (small children). Those going one direction are dry while those going the other are wet.

The sounds of splashing and whooping come from the pool the other side of the back yard fence and of basketballs bouncing on the cement strip under the hoop just outside the pool fence.

Occasionally cars pass squeezing the others to one side. When two cars pass going oposite directions everybody on the lane has to wait them out on the nearest driveway or narrow strip of grass or gravel in front of the nearest trailer.


EXT. GERTA'S PORCH DAY


Gerta sucks on a hard candy, smoothing its celophane wrapper flat in her lap as she watches two preteen boys on bikes approach. The one in the lead is weaving all over the lane purposely blocking the other boy from passing him.

The second boy, younger than the first by a year or two, is forced to plant one foot on the ground to avoid colliding with the rear wheel of the bike in front.

BOY ON BIKE 2
(yelling in rage)
You're making us late you freakazoid! Mom's gonna freaking flip!
He bends to tie a loose shooelace as his brother rides circles around him, poking his back, ribs and butt.

BOY ON BIKE 2
Knock it off turd face!
(rising to grip handlebars)
Just you wait! You gotta sleep sometime.

BOY ON BIKE 1
(chants)
Try and die!
If you try, don't close your eyes!
Give me flack, don't turn your back!
Payback's a medevac!

Gerta fishes a wad of tissue from behind one hip extracting a small cat turd from it which she then wraps in the cellophane candy wrapper, twisting the ends closed.

As she focuses on this intricate task with arthritic claws, the upper plate of her dentures slides in and out between her lips.

She looks up as the first boy stops chanting and speeds ahead before his brother can remount. As he passes, she takes aim and pitches the cellophane wrapped turd at him. It hits his ear and falls to the ground.

He spins his bike sideways across the second boy's path, leaps off letting it fall as he rushes toward the other bike.

BOY ON BIKE 1
That's all she wrote Billy Goat!
He lowers his head and charges and with a flying tackle topples boy and bike, pummeling with fists before they hit the ground.

0 tell me a story:

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