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  1. motormouth
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    motormouth Member

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    script idea:Hotel Bethlehem

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by motormouth, Dec 28, 2010.

    Hi im new to the forum, gald to find a place like this. Basicallyi write scripts with Biblical/ Christian principles for use by my Church and others (as i am a christian myself) What ido however to avoid having to fit the stories i write into total Biblical canon , i use facts from Biblical stories to guide along the plot but create completely different stories and totally new characters- e.g rather than have a direct retelling of the story of David and Goliath, id make a story from the persepctive of one of the soldiers watching the battle.

    This idea i have is for 2011's christmas programme-
    Name- Hotel Bethlehem (working title)

    Plot- Basically a look into the life of the workers at the inn that Mary and Joseph attempt to check into during the Christmas story.

    Characters-
    Isaiah- Nazarene who gets called up by his uncle to work in the inn. Basically a fish out of water as he is unused to city live- coming from a fishing village (need more character traits) May break the fourth wall and spea

    Nadab- Owner of the inn. Very cheap "Think Stan from the old Martin sitcom" looks for everyway to get the cheap way out of running the business e.g diluting the wine etc. Very comedic

    Ruth- Supervisor. Asked to train Isaiah. Does not like him As she see him as a threat and getting it easy over her who had to work her way up. Tough as nails supervisor, feared by staff single mother is very efficient at her job and is able to switch between loving mother and veritable dictator at a moments notice.

    Zipporah- A singer for King Herod ,staying at the inn. Literal diva- rude, makes huge demands etc. Bt is actually there because she got replaced as his favourite and got exiled. Has an emotional break down later on in the tavern

    Other staff members and Biblical characters turn up as the story goes on.

    I got plot points but nothing completed. I'm aiming for the scenes to be made into self contained skits starring different cast members. This allows each of them to shine at some time plus it doesnt overwork them

    So what do you think?
    Viable , not???? Any ideas are appreciated
     
  2. FrankABlissett
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    FrankABlissett Active Member

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    Welcome to the boards, Motor.

    Certainly viable - I've no doubt that the basic idea has been explored in story and song. Creating fictional characters has a big advantage of giving you something of a blank slate to work with.

    We likely can't help with specifics though. First, how conservative/progressive will have a big impact on what stock characters are expected and on what moral points will be accepted. You're likely so in tune to this dimension (being a part of the community) that you don't even need to think about it much - it's just "there".

    Also, we do not know how much you can challenge the cast and crew, though your audience will give them some leeway.

    It may help (or not, depending on you personality) to give yourself goals and deadlines. The ultimate deadline in December 2011, but you'll also need time for the cast to rehearse - save for tweaks, your play needs to be done by then. Presumably, they'll also need a bit more time to throw something together if something happens and your play becomes unavailable - a "good enough" draft needs to be done by then.

    Well, that's about all I've got for now. Good luck, and feel free to lean on us for help.

    -Frank
     
  3. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Hi,

    I see that you're new here. Welcome to the forums. :)

    People here are really nice and helpful if you have a specific question -- making something believable, sorting out a plot hole etc -- but we're not here to give validation, so you shouldn't be asking for it. You are the writer and the complete master of your work. It's up to YOU to create your settings, characters and plots and to come up with the basic idea to write. Don't take that power away from yourself by asking for validation before you write.

    Also, there's no way for us to look at a brief summary (or even a detailed one) and say the story will be good or bad. It's about how good you are, not the basic plot. There are lots of badly written books with cool plot ideas, and lots of books that are really cool but the plot would seem cheesy if you tried to explain -- they're good because they're well written.

    Again, welcome aboard. :)
     
  4. motormouth
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    motormouth Member

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    thanks- i ve actually directed plays before so i have some experience in it. But ive learned that getting different perspectives on a plot often can reap amazing results as other will notice things that you didnt.
    So i was just asking for any ideas/ things that anyone saw that they thought would make it better
     
  5. Halcyon
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    Halcyon Contributing Member Contributor

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    An interesting premise, and could be a fascinating script if handled properly.

    Of course, it may be worth bearing in mind that the Apostles only placed the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, Judea in order to fulfil the Old Testament scriptures that predicted such an event, but that it is far more likely in reality that the real birthplace of Jesus would have been the lesser-known village of Bethlehem, Galilee - much closer to where Mary and Joseph would have lived if they were truly from Nazareth. :)
     
  6. motormouth
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    motormouth Member

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    Really never heard that one, but lets not get into a debate, im wondering how i could break it into several interconnected but separate scripts or what other characters could be used
     
  7. FrankABlissett
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    FrankABlissett Active Member

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    What about a pagan Roman citizen? Maybe from Rome itself, but could also be from Greece or Ionia.

    You could play him (I'm assuming male) as:
    A) arrogant - think the "ugly American" stereotype.
    B) the "good Samaritan" type - a good person, but no desire to convert to Judaism. He could represent the pagans who would, in a couple generation, convert in droves.
    C) the future convert. Interested in this "one God" thing, and maybe starting to understand Judaism.

    -Frank
     
  8. motormouth
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    motormouth Member

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    Hmmmm sounds interesting, very interesting, it'd make him much lets boring or 2- dimensional actually
    But whats the ugly American stereotype???

    I was thinking of adding a receptionist who is the inkeepers daughter- a dumb blonde type- but im wondering if that cliche is too stale. Maybe a few musical numbers etc
     
  9. FrankABlissett
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    FrankABlissett Active Member

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    The idea of the "ugly American" is that of an American tourist or beaurocrat traveling abroad, who is also booring, loud and obnoxious.

    An ugly American will be dismissive of local customs, not bother to learn the language (or consider it an imposition if he must learn it), and act rather patronizing to local residents. I don't know how accurate the stearotype is. As an American I hope it's not often true, but don't really know.

    The "dumb blond" and "ditzy receptionist" arecertainly cliche, and some people chafe at them. Of the two, the ditzy receptionist is probably the most useful, as it can bring in plot points - s/he acts as a gatekeeper that the characters must deal with to accomplish goals. Certainly use it if you feel it works and will be well received by your audience.

    Here's an idea to tumble over. Maybe have the daughter/receptionist being the bright one, looking out for the inn's reputation and long-term viability. The father, however, is "penny wise and pound foolish". And maybe not even terribly penny wise.

    "No Jane - use that cooking oil over there for the customers."

    "But dad, that oil's rancid!"

    "Ahh - don't worry about it. They'll be hungry enough they won't notice."

    "Now dad, if you want me to cook then you have to let me use the good oil. Otherwise - I don't know. Hmm - YOU could cook." (she smiles at him and he grumbles)

    "Okay, okay. Use the good oil. But just this once!"

    -Frank
     
  10. A-Milo
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    A-Milo New Member

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    I like Frank's idea about the "gatekeeper" that can help advance things along. Although I also think that the ditzy receptionist type is overplayed and wouldn't be a very good fit for your story. I worked at a hotel in college and all the action (work gossip and such) always happened in the restaurant/bar lounge area. I would have your scenes take place there and maybe turn Ruth into the restaurant manager. You could also throw in a room service person to provide some exposition or help flesh out your other characters.
     
  11. C. B. Carter
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    C. B. Carter Member

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    Hi motormouth,

    I just posted "The Path to KnowWhere" in the short story forum. It's in abbreviated form because of the 30K limit on the forum. I think it would make an excellent skit and it's written in such a way that it lends itself to a multi-character driven skit. I've published this story but have released it (free of charge) for educational purposes. Send me a PM and I will gladly send you a PDF version along with my "Suggested Discussion Session".
     
  12. motormouth
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    motormouth Member

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    Ok and how would this relate to theplot im doing. Just curious
     
  13. C. B. Carter
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    C. B. Carter Member

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    You know, for some reason I thought you were looking for a story to create a skit from, but reading your post again, I don’t know why I thought that.

    For your skit, I think it would be interesting to have a unifying element: A relateable flaw for example: the seven sins (Lust, Envy, Greed, Rage, Gluttony, Sloth, and Pride), with one assigned to each character. As the characters introduce themselves, their flaw becomes obvious to the audience and there is one unifying character named Faith whose character element is “hope”.

    With that premise:

    Faith (aka hope) interacts with Lust and teaches the character to “Love” instead (or the virtue of Chastity).

    Faith (aka hope) interacts with Envy and teaches the character how to be ‘Grateful’ (or the virtue of Kindness).

    Faith (aka hope) interacts with Greed and teaches the character ‘Philanthropy’ (or the virtue of Charity).

    Faith (aka hope) interacts with Rage and teaches the character how to be ‘Peaceful’ (or the virtue of Patience).

    Faith (aka hope) interacts with Gluttony and teaches the character ‘Honor’ (or the virtue of Temperance).

    Faith (aka hope) interacts with Sloth and teaches the character the ethics of ‘Work’ (or the virtue of Diligence).

    Faith (aka hope) interacts with Price and teaches the character how to be ‘Modesty’ (or the virtue of Humility).

    Of course the above has been done before but it would certainly fit well into your “Inn” background/setting, and the setting is a natural to allow these individuals to interact.

    I like the idea of the character “Faith” being the concierge of the Inn, he interacts with each character trying to fulfill their requests but never does what they expect…

    I'd be more than happy to work with you on this project, just shoot me a PM...

    Hope that helps.
     

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