1. hilal
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    hilal Active Member

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    Does this hold your attention?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by hilal, Apr 14, 2016.

    Script writing Guru Robert Mackee tells us that if one can keep a reader enthralled by a step outline(your story told in bullet points) than you have a great story. I have been writing a script since last october that I just finished now. I had this idea for about 2 years.

    So with out further ado my step outline.

    A boy in his final year goes against his teacher in order to extract revenge. The boy's ex was involved in a affair in with the teacher and is dead. The boy thinks the teacher is some how responsible.

    He decides to kill the teacher but finds out he can't. The boy was a soldier but his past hunts him to such an extent that he can't come to terms with killing the teacher.

    Haunted by his own demons he decides to take his own life.

    The attempted suicide attempt fails and he ends up in hospital. His family is in Israel so they only that he was in a car crash.Yes the story takes place in the states.

    In the hospital he meets a girl who is an orphan. She has survived cancer and in her the boy confides. She gives him hope to live. Though as a joke she says it's better to kill the teacher then to kill yourself the boy takes her advice and goes back to finish his final year.

    One day The teacher is giving a lecture to a big audience. Over there the boy tries to make the teacher look bad. Though moderately successful the teacher does miss an important meeting due to the argument. The very next day the teacher conducts a surprise quiz. The boy comes to the class late and isn't allowed to sit for it.

    Mad at the teacher the boy goes and vandalises the teachers car by placing tooth picks in the door locks so that the car key wont go in.

    The next day the teacher invites so called forensic specialists to take the finger prints. It's all a set up by the teacher but the boy happily agrees as he never touched the car.

    Not wanting to be outsmarted the teacher agrees to compensate for the lost quiz marks if the boy will do an make up assignment. The only catch is that it's virtually impossible to do in the given time. But unknown to the teacher the boy has already read half the book on the assignment. He teams up with his friend Thomas and submits the assignment in the next class.

    The teacher doesn't accept it saying that he makes the rules and what he says goes. The boy again pushed to the edge decides to kill the teacher tonight no matter what.


    You so far with me?
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2016
  2. Justin Phillips
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    Justin Phillips Active Member

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    hmm the problem I have is I'm assuming the boy is the protagonist, but are we supposed to be rooting for him? I don't understand how the orphan gives him hope to live, but it seems he didn't learn one iota of a lesson, and is freely making the teacher's life a living hell directly after. where is the growth? I guess I just don't relate with a boy that is so easily murderous. I can relate with suicide, because it's a very real human emotion that conflicts many people, but he just seems so... murderous. why? I understand that the teacher had an affair with his dead girlfriend but...

    My suggestion, if it were a movie I wanted to watch, is go back to the hospital where he meets the girl, and have her actually change his life for good. She can give him a reason to live and to forget his revenge.

    or is this only the beginning of the story?
     
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  3. hilal
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    hilal Active Member

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    It is the start. The reason I didn't write the whole step out line is because I want to know whether people will read all that I have written. What made you read the whole thing? The reason he wants to kill the teacher is because he not only dislikes him but he is also threatened by him. I think anyone will feel those two emotions towards anyone who had sex with their girl. My story does have elements of the punitive plot but all that changes in act two.

    The orphan tells him that there are other ways he can deal with the teacher and thus he tries to make him look bad in front of all those people. I personally think she was successful because he isn't suicidal any more and instead of hurting himself he goes after the teacher again. I will be posting the whole step outline pretty soon do tell me what you think when you have read the whole thing. Thank you for the feedback :)
     
  4. Justin Phillips
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    Justin Phillips Active Member

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    ah ok I see. I kept reading because the part of the girl in the hospital changing his life reminded me of a recent anime show I watched called "Your lie in April", but I have to say your story took a much different turn haha.
     
  5. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    You're forgetting his military past, where he was trained to kill...and all before he started his final year in school!
     
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  6. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Your story doesn't make any sense - it sounds like 2 separate stories unrelated to each other completely mixed up. You have 2 goals it seems - outsmart the teacher as well as kill the teacher. Which is it? In light of the desire/need to murder this teacher, why on earth would your MC even bother with the assignment? Hey yeah, I'm gonna kill you tomorrow but DAMMIT I'm gonna hand in this assignment to you! Like... seriously? o_O

    You've supposedly got the MC haunted past chasing him - but the rest of the story has nothing to do with that.

    The teacher seems a little mean but hardly warrants getting killed? Your MC's overreaction makes him sound surreal - and not in a good way. Your characters' behaviour doesn't make an ounce of sense.

    Why on earth does the MC attempt suicide?

    And since when has any teenager (I assume he's a teen?) been that bothered by a quiz that he'd go vandalise someone's car in a rage? It's a quiz. Most teenagers enjoy skipping class - they don't tend to get in a rage that they can't attend some surprise quiz that no one cares about.

    And you're allowed to do a quiz if you write up an extra assignment? Like, seriously, what's so special about this surprise quiz!? No teen in their right mind would agree to take on extra homework for the sake of a quiz. And from a teacher they're about to murder? Who cares about the quiz or the assignment in light of the fact that this kid probably has a much bigger reason for hating him?

    And what on earth happened to the ex? This boy wants to murder the teacher due to his ex's death, and yet we never revisit this storyline again. You give the boy a reason to want to kill and then you don't develop or explore that reason - rather you go on a trip with quizzes and assignments and forensic specialists (I hate to say it but I doubt forensic specialists would come into school to investigate a case of vandalism)

    All in all, figure out what your story actually is - you seem to have 2 entwined with each other, neither of which really relates to one another. And think more carefully about how a realistic teenager and realistic adult teacher would really behave. For now your characters don't sound real.
     
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  7. hilal
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    hilal Active Member

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    At first me has the desire to kill the teacher. But when he fails and wounds up in the hospital he comes to realize that killing him is not the best idea. That is when he decides that he will harm the teacher emotionally. And thus he tries to lay one on the teacher during the talk. But when the teacher doesn't accept his assignment on which he pulled an all nighter saying that 'I make the rules here not you.' I believe anyone will be that pissed like the mc.

    Because of PTSD but that comes later.


    He has a grudge against the teacher. He needs the marks to maintain his GPA(he is not in his teens) because he wants to do a post grad.

    We come back to that later in the story.
    I wrote that it was a set up. The forensic specialists aren't real.
     
  8. Claire Kingsley
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    Claire Kingsley New Member

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    I'm kind of with you, although it does seem like the MC swings from suicide/depression to homicidal thoughts quite a bit. You'll need to write it in a way that "sells" or explains the mood swings.

    What happens in the end? Does he kill the teacher?
     
  9. Justin Phillips
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    Justin Phillips Active Member

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    Yeah it seems like he's almost a sociopath (psychopath? I always get them confused) whether by birth or from the PTSD. Just really bent on killing that teacher lol.
     
  10. hilal
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    hilal Active Member

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    What would a story be without a dilemma ?
     
  11. hilal
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    hilal Active Member

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    Here is the rest of the outline.

    The boy patiently waits for the teacher to finish his last class. As he is waiting Thomas' sister Liv comes up to him and distracts him. This is the first time these two are meeting. She asks him what he is doing here to which he replies that he is waiting for a girl. He tells Liv that he is about to propose to her.

    Liv tells him that she and Thomas are waiting for him once he has talked to her. Liv leaves. The teachers comes out of the classroom. The M.C follows him to the men's room. There he gives the teacher one final chance to let
    bygones be bygones but the teacher has still not forgiven the M.C. The reason being that the M.C inadvertently talked about the teacher's infidelity in front of the teachers wife. This the M.C doesn't knows this even to this day. So the teacher also has a grudge against the M.C and tells him to f*ck off(though rather politely ).

    Tired off being pushed around the M.C is about to use his gun when his friend Thomas walks in. Thomas doesn't sees the gun but its outline through M.C cloths. Thomas has been observing these two for sometime now. After all Thomas is in the same class with the M.C.

    When alone Thomas confronts the M.C and asks him what has gotten it him? Thomas doesn't tell anyone what he saw but the next day he suggests to the M.C that they adopt a different approach. It is decided amongst themselves that if they can't dig any dirt on the teacher then the M.C is free to do what he pleases.

    Before the week is over these two find out that the teacher's 5 year old son is dying of a rare disease and the teacher doesn't have enough cash to support his boy. Having learnt this fact the boy decides that he can't kill two people with one bullet. The boy needs his father.

    Thomas has learnt that the M.C was offered a post grad with scholar ship but declined it due to the fact the same teacher takes the classes. The M.C says he is going back to Israel(because he's from there.)

    Thomas had unethically entered the teachers office earlier and learned that to cover his son's expenses the teacher is selling papers to someone by the name of Blake. Blake's father is in a very influential position in the same hospital the teachers son is being treated.

    Thomas suggests to go and record the meeting. Use the recording as leverage he suggests but the M.C wants no part in it. Thomas argues that after what he has seen and how unstable the M.C is it's better to get the proof regardless.

    The M.C can't do anything about it and thus both go to the teachers house to get the proof.

    They get the proof. Unfortunately when they had broken into the house someone saw them. The police are called to the teachers house but because one of the 'students' had smoked weed earlier the teacher doesn't allow them in. The teacher had also heard an unfamiliar ringtone. No body over there recognizes the ringtone(no one makes a big deal out of it because the cops came after this incident.).

    When the boys come home with the proof. Liv suspects something is up. The M.C confides in Liv, that he blames himself for the girls death(his ex). He drew her away due to his recurring nightmares and emotional instability. The M.C says that he wants to move on but the shackles of the past are too strong. He believes that if they hadn't broken up his ex might still be alive.

    Liv gives him hope.

    The girl that he had meet earlier at the hospital had given her # to The M.C. The M.C hadn't called her ever since because he felt he had nothing to say. He calls her after the talk with LIV.

    The same night, while all this is happening the teachers son has an heart attack. He lives. The doctors suggest changing the medicine. The new medicine costs a lot more than the previous one. The teachers calls Blake and black mails him to either waive off the bill or get him the money. The teacher says that if anything were to happen to his son you would be sorry.

    U still here ?
     
  12. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    No, it doesn't hold my attention. In fact, I didn't even read your OP. :p
    Anyway, I agree with others that this seems to be done wrong. You seem to have some good concepts that you've jumbled around and made something awkward and hard to believe or understand. It's seems like you need to rework your concept to me. But again, there is some potential. You just need to find it, and focus on that. Or at least that's my opinion anyway.
     
  13. Justin Phillips
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    Justin Phillips Active Member

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    I do like how this helps write a story. I've never used a proper outline, and my brain would explode if i tried. But having it all written out like this could help, and then I can cherry pick things, switch them around, whatever, without just letting the story write itself into a ditch.
     
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  14. hilal
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    hilal Active Member

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    OP?
     
  15. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    OP means either "original post" (the very first post that started the thread) or "original poster" (the person who started the thread). Oscar was saying he didn't read your original post (OP).
     
  16. hilal
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    hilal Active Member

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    If he didn't read the OP then how does he know I seem to have good concepts?
     
  17. Justin Phillips
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    Justin Phillips Active Member

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    going off your second post, I assume.
     
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  18. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    I wrote that first bit as soon as I saw the title, because I saw the potential for that joke. And then I read it, and wrote the second bit.
     
  19. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    The story isn't making sense to me. High stakes things, like death and murder and revenge, are marching along as if they're equal to low stakes things, like minor pranks and a missed quiz. It's like a combination of a murder thriller and a rollicking high school comedy.
     
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  20. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    Yeah, the main thing is the weird feeling this kid has no sense of priorities. He's got to super duper ADHD in order to do that. I don't think that's medically possible to be that distractable.
     
  21. hilal
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    hilal Active Member

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    thanks for pointing that out.
     
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