1. jag1221

    jag1221 New Member

    Oct 2, 2014
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    Extreme writers block with fantasy script

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by jag1221, Oct 2, 2014.

    I'm trying to write a script for a youtube series I'm planning to produce. It's based off the video game, "Disciples II: Dark Prophecy." It takes place in a medieval themed fantasy world known as Nevendaar. I've been infatuated with the game for ages now, and I'm having more than a tough time trying to write an introduction for my script. I've written a prologue that describes the events that proceeded the events of the story that's currently taking place, but I'm always dissatisfied with the things I write afterwards. I'm in desperate need for help! Any ideas?

    Backstory: The Emperor has become overcome with grief after the death of his wife and the loss of his missing son. The commoners and nobles are slowly becoming enraged with the Emperor's melancholy disposition and are beginning to think of him as an incompetent ruler. His High Counselor has already began to form a resistance party with many of the other nobles, unbeknownst to the Emperor and his most loyal of followers, the lead general of the guard, Dassanar, and the Arch-Mage Othon. During this time, a woman named Erhog has overtaken a city and poisoned the Emperor. The Emperor falls ill, and sends Dassanar to go off and avenge the Empire, while clerics tend to him and heal him of the illness. Dassanar agrees.
    -Dassanar's family has been close and loyal to the emperor for five generations.
    -Dassanar and Othon have a very close relationship
    -Othon does not trust the High Counselor

    I have absolutely no idea how to go about this! Help please!
    Any feedback, ideas, comments, would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
  2. peachalulu

    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

    May 20, 2012
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    occasionally Oz , mainly Canada
    Just start writing. It sounds simple but here's the thing - nothing is going to sound right at the start. And until you get something down on paper or in your computer you have nothing to work with. Just keep writing. Make a scene - do the dialogue - make sure you leave a hint of whats coming up in the next scene and that will help you keep momentum. Even if it sounds like junk it doesn't matter because you'll have something to work with. Writing isn't about putting the exact words on paper it's about putting words on paper and changing those words.

    Daydream - Sit and picture you scene as if it's a movie but you're not just watching it, you're the character. Start to feel it and see and let the words flow. Think about where you want to start in the story and with what characters. Just keep it simple - think setting, problem, characters. Create a dialogue from the emotions of the problem. In most shows a scene is usually set to show the characters and prepare for a change.

    If you want to keep from editing keep all your days work in separate worddoc files and copy and paste the last paragraph into the next days worddoc. That will keep you from looking over what you've done and being displeased by it.
  3. twobearsforever

    twobearsforever New Member

    Oct 3, 2014
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    Whenever I'm stuck on things like this, I find a few things very helpful.

    First, go to this site: http://writingexercises.co.uk/random-image-generator.php and scroll through images until you find one that inspires you. I think of that as the "catalyst". Every person's creative method is different, but this is often a helpful way to at least get one started on it. Just go with it. Whatever idea comes to you, just GO. Doesn't matter if it turns out like garbage, just WRITE. And whatever you do, don't go back and edit it- at least not for the first couple of weeks.

    Once you have that catalyst down, find a way to keep the feeling- the aura- the aesthetic- that inspired you to write it. You know what I mean. Looks like you've found it already, though, in your video game. Don't lose that video game. Play it, listen to the soundtrack, watch let's plays, read the wiki, whatever it takes to keep the aesthetic of the story in your mind. Even when you've lost the ability or the will to write, you must hold onto that aesthetic.

    Now that you've got the beginning to the story, think of at least three possible things that could happen next. For example, the story begins with the Emperor in his chamber, surrounded by his clerics. One of them is holding a container of incense and chanting in Latin. The door opens and Dassanar rushes in, quick to answer the call of his liege. The Emperor explains the situation and tells him to avenge the Empire.

    If I was Dassanar, what would I do next? Well, if I was just given a very important mission by the Emperor, first thing I'd do is go tell my family. Depending on how old he is/what his position in society is, he could run and tell his parent(s), sibling(s), significant other, best friend, even the horses in the royal stable. Or maybe he could go immediately to start on his mission. On the way there, he might get stopped by a suspicious guard, a coworker, or a crush or friend who works in the castle. Maybe they stop him to ask why he's in such a hurry, or maybe he crashes into them as he's rounding a corner. He reacts to them, they react to his reaction, etc etc...

    Get a bunch of sticky notes and jot down possible events, then organize them as such. Example:

    Dassanar accepts his mission from the Emperor. He rushes to tell his...
    -she gives him a sword that belonged to his grandfather, who led the royal navy during an invasion from a neighboring kingdom
    -he feels honored to carry on his family's legacy and goes to tell his...
    -significant other
    -they worry about him dying and the two have a fight
    -while they are worried about the danger of the mission, they are also thrilled for him; Dassanar decides to propose marriage (assuming they're not already married)
    -twin sister
    -she's jealous that he's been given so much responsibility while she has yet to be given an opportunity to prove her loyalty to the crown (possible plot twist- she was never loyal in the first place!)
    -she's so scared for him she tries to convince him to let her go in his place
    -best friend
    -friend has dubious loyalty to the crown and might be less than thrilled about this news
    -they get into a fight about loyalty and honor
    -Dassanar is in such a rush he collides with his crush who works in the castle
    -they're enthusiastic about the great honor he's been given
    -they offer to travel with him

    I don't want to go much farther with this small example, but this is basically how my own thought process works.

    Additionally, I'm a film major with a concentration in screenwriting, so a few of my own tips when it comes to writing for video:
    -Since you're intending to produce this yourself, know beforehand what your limitations are. This is a very extravagant idea, so make sure you're not writing too much for your budget/ability.
    -Normally, I would say don't write in screen directions except where absolutely necessary, but again, since it's your own production, if you have a specific vision for the cinematic aspects, go for it.
    -A screenplay is a blueprint for your story, but it is also meant to capture the essence of the story itself. When writing in descriptions of scenes or actions, use colorful, specific language- "holler" instead of "call out", "sob" instead of "cry", and so on. This helps your actors get a better feel for the story and their characters, and makes it come alive.

    I'm not sure how familiar you are with the three-act structure, so forgive me if this is old news for you. I'll give you a rough explanation here. (Once you read this, I also encourage you to watch a movie you've already seen and see if you can pick out where each of these takes place.)

    Inciting incident: happens around page 10 (think 1 page = 1 minute of screen time. Screenplays tend to be about 120 minutes). The "catalyst" of the story- the call to action, the thing that really sets the plot in motion.

    Plot point I- the event that signals the transition from Act I to Act II. This is the point where the event/conflict introduced in the Inciting Incident becomes absolutely necessary. You should have already established your characters by now and are launching into the real action.

    Act II should be a series of events playing off of each other. Remember: cause --> effect. Also, the events typically alternate between positive and negative. They should get more dramatic and intense as the act progresses.

    Midpoint- smack dab in the middle of the screenplay, this is when the story takes on a new emotion. Whether this event is good or bad for your main character is up to you. Everything from this point on should have the audience riveted.

    Plot Point II- event that launches us into Act III. This is when things are starting to really race toward the conclusion. The events in Act III should typically be more negative for the protag, so as to create better suspense.

    Climax- this is it, the big showdown, the face off between the protagonist and the big baddie. Very intense, very dramatic.

    The remainder of your screenplay should be winding down the action and tying up all the loose ends. Have as many subplots as you want without complicating the story, but make sure not to leave any of them open (unless you want to, of course. There are no real rules in screenwriting).

    As you're planning on making this into a YouTube series, I'd say figure out how long you want the whole thing to be and perhaps use this three act structure to plan out the entire story (or as much of it as you feel like), then do mini versions of it for each installment. And remember to have fun with it- you're making a web series! It's exciting!

    Sorry this got so long. I hope this helps!
    Alexa C. Morgan and jannert like this.
  4. jag1221

    jag1221 New Member

    Oct 2, 2014
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    Thank you both! These honestly helped me immensely!

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