Dry suds cling to an empty glass. Not just one glass, oh no. Two pairs of empty beer glasses rest on the table between an open laptop and two writers. The screen is filled with scribbled notes, random Q&A from myself to my writing partner. This is our third time meeting, and we have spent each visit getting acquainted with our imaginary friends. What their life was like before “ENTER TWO WRITERS” shows up on their narrative. But despite our conversations and interactions, there was still not a single page written for their story.
Like I mentioned yesterday, “Roadside Stars” began as a feature. When I read its first draft, it was a simple narrative. Nothing wrong with telling a story, just when you can see it’s potential, you would be a silly goose to just let it go by the wayside. What I saw reflected the heart of nearly every dreamer. A conflict between resorting to passions versus a normal life. The only problem was that I couldn’t properly express this yet. There were bigger questions that needed to be answered first.
First rule of thumb, always consider your audience, who are they? How can they relate to the characters? All of this can feel like a big juggling act. You are having to consider an imaginary audience for your imaginary friends; all without considering that without your story, neither party can be made possible. So where to begin? Intention must go beyond…starting with our blank page.
Regardless of your background, this is a daunting conflict. It’s a fresh start. The simple “hello” to the muse in your mind. The Blank Page is the hot boy/girl sitting at the bar on a quiet night. All it takes is a leap forward. But what will you say? What if you fumble with your words? What if…
What if you look past the mind games and just f***ing write? Quit psyching yourself out.
The prompt flashes on our word processor, impatient, still a blank page. As empty as the glasses or the minds of our two writers. Going back to our Q&A’s, our character backgrounds, our understanding of the theme helped us understand intention. Each one of our characters is broken. Each one of them needs home.
What do we want with home? This is where our story begins after all, a wannabe singer must decide between his career or his family when he returns home after his ex-wife passes away. He must go home, even if it is kicking and screaming. To some, going home is a chance to start over, to recharge, even if it is just to taste, or even smell, mom’s fresh-baked cornbread. Home is where the rehabilitation is,
Then there are others who might come from a broken home. It might bring back memories of failure, so we define it in the best way we can, through close friends, where a local happy hour becomes our modern-day dining room table. Despite where we find comfort, we long to return to find that heartbeat. For our characters, we need home to understand where we came from and where we are going. After years of running away from home, from our problems and mistakes of the past, will that which kept us distracted still be there? Or will it fade away within the family arms?
By doing this, understanding our characters’ longing for a homecoming, it became the foundation. No matter where our story takes us in the first season, or overall series; when in doubt, this is our anchoring point. When our story strays, our first question goes back to this initial thought, are we bringing our characters closer or further from home? Does it reflect my intention?
And now for some web-series promotion. We shoot in April!