Posts Tagged ‘script’

Writing Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan asks: “If your protagonist doesn’t want anything, then what is the story?”

2012 May 13

Happy Mother’s Day to mother-archetypes all over the world! To honor my MaMah today, I’m watching the movie Garbo Talks (written by Larry Grusin; directed by Sidney Lumit; music by Cy Coleman)  about a son who takes action to get the one thing his dying mother really wants–to meet the movie star Greta Garbo.

One of my favorite scenes in this movie is the conversation (at the beach) between Gilbert Rolfe (the son, portrayed by Ron Silver) and the gay man/kind stranger Bernie Whitlock (portrayed by Harvey Fierstein).  The dialogue shows not only what Gilbert wants but also what Bernie wants.  What Gilbert wants is specific; what Bernie wants is universal.

A photographer who has spied on Garbo before tells Gilbert “. . . she’ll disappear if she sees you . . . ”

When Gilbert finally finds the movie star (after 3 months of doing), he knows that he must make every word count to hook her attention before she runs away.

Then, the monologue by the mom (Estelle Rolfe, portrayed by Anne Bancroft) in the hospital bed as she speaks to Garbo . . . oh my goodness.

Lines are beautifully written, directed, delivered, and edited.  What a story! And the music! I will study the script again.

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Speaking of what a protagonist wants, mothers, meetings, monologues . . . I’ve written a 10-minute play (Answer Me Now–a monologue) about a middle-aged woman asking her dead mom a question.

My play and eight colleagues’ plays will be performed on June 29, 30 and July 1st, 2012 at the Redwood Writers & 6th Street Playhouse Play Festival in Santa Rosa, CA.   I’d love to see my friends there.  Click here for more information. Please email me too and let me know which show you’ll be attending.  I’m at    gmail.com  My ID is:   WritingCoachTeresa .

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Writers, go through your manuscript and look for the “want” on every page. Who wants what in this scene, in this conversation, or passage? How does each character go after (or not) what she/he wants?

Click here for my webpage to get guidelines and editing advice.

Sincerely,

Coach Teresa

Editor, Story Consultant, Platform-Building Coach

http://writingcoachteresa.com

Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan has helped over 1,000 writers.

“Reach out, not stress out, to materialize your dearest dreams.”

 

In The Apartment (script by Billy Wilder and  I.A.L. Diamond ), the 2 protagonists are C.C. Baxter, an insurance clerk (whose apartment is much in demand by four executives for their extramarital activities) and Miss Kubelik, an elevator operator in the insurance company (who is described by Baxter as a “perfectly respectable girl”).

Then there’s Miss Olsen. She is secretary to Jeff Sheldrake who is head of Personnel. Miss Olsen appears in only a few scenes, yet, she personifies multiple archetypes—shape-shifter; herald, but also threshold guardian; antagonist, but also ally. Her character fascinates me. Baxter’s and Kubelik’s heroes’ journeys would not have begun if not for the action of this not-so-minor character.

For more information about the movie http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053604/

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C.C. Baxter -  portrayed by Jack Lemmon

Miss Kubelik – Shirley MacLaine

Jeff Sheldrake – Fred MacMurray

Dr. Dreyfuss-  Jack Kruschen

Miss Olsen – Edie Adams

 

 

 

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May your major and not-so-minor characters be memorable!

I recommend your studying The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers by Christopher Vogler and The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master by Martha Alderson.

Happy writing and rewriting!

Editor / Manuscript Consultant / Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan

http://writingcoachTeresa.com

Teresa is author of Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days: Attract Agents, Editors, Publishers, Readers, and Media Attention NOW

Teresa is author of Love Made of Heart

Coach Teresa edits manuscripts (contemporary novels; thrillers; children’s novels; memoirs) for authors who want to attract agents  & publishers  OR  want to be their own publishers.

 

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