This time around, the preparation will be a little bit different, because, I got a card I’ve already had before. While I could just go with it regardless, I have decided to instead draw a second card to together with the first, and keep things fresh and interesting.
I will work through both cards separately, but keeping the ideas of both in mind as I do this, and will go with the best mix of both, hopefully.
The first card I got was #02 — Fight the Giant — the same card I got for Scene 5 already.
The second card to add to that is #16 — Start The Clock.
Why am I doing this? Because I like to make things more complicated for myself. That’s why.
Let’s see what we can do with that, and this will work out for Mitch in his new scene.
Card # 02 — Fight The Giant
Your hero will have to face her adversary at some point. Why not right now?
Previously, I used the card to make our heroes end up facing both the bikers and the mob, and we ended the scene with bullets flying in their direction. But that scene is several hours in the future from where the current one will play out, so I think I can take the liberty of making the “Giant” something different, or at least put it into a different context.
We usually think of showdowns coming at the end of the story, but early battles allow for new complications.
A crushing defeat gives your hero something to prove. Does she doubt herself? Will her allies stand with her?
A surprising victory could turn an enemy into an ally, or spawn an even more powerful Big Bad — perhaps the mother or brother of defeated.
In the previous scene, I noted through Sarah’s perspective that Mitch is talking to his mother, who, as we’ve seen there, is not welcome in his life. I want to play with that, and make this conversation the main topic of this scene. Which would make his mother, or something related to her, the Giant of the scene. But to also drive the story forward, we can use the next card effectively in that, I believe.
Card # 16 — Start The Clock
Deadlines force characters to make choices. How can it be now or never?
We already know that they’re not only late for the drop, but extremely fucking late. We also know that this will not go well for them (see scene 1 to 3). They need to leave now. The wedding tying them up is bad enough, but now Mitch is preoccupied with something that happened with his mother just a minute ago.
Time is the essence of urgency, Consider basketball. Anyone can make then free-throws in an hour. Ten baskets in minute — that’s difficult. And you always want to make things difficult for your hero.
A ticking clock is rarely an actual clock. Instead, it’s often phrased as “before” — before the bride says “I do” or before the Nazis cross that bridge.
Heroes usually know they’re on the clock, but sometimes it’s more suspenseful when they don’t. If the audience knows there is a ticking bomb under the restaurant table, every moment waiting for the check is terrifying.
Nathan is the only who really knows just how urgent the drop off is, and how bad it really will be fore them if they don’t hustle. Mitch, of course, has an idea of how bad things can go, and while he’s not quite as freaked out about it as Nathan, he still knows that the clock is ticking.
So, in this scene, we’ll shine a light in Mitch’s demons of his past, and really ramp on the pressure of his current situation. Sounds like fun.
Let’s look at the questions and exercises of both cards quickly.
Let’s start with the Giants. As I said, the Giants this time around are from his past.
List three ways the enemy could bring the fight to the hero right now.
- I think the real bad news at this point is about his dead father. With his mother showing up in the scene, somehow the old man is affecting Mitch once again. Perhaps I can write flashbacks of Mitch being abused, leading all the way to Mitch taking matters into his own hand. Somehow his mother is involved in that. I had the idea earlier that his mother now is involved with the Lost Boys (since the leader and Mitch’s dad were best friends), so by freaking out at his mother for not being there he needed her, and she belittling him somehow, he could, driven by rage, tell her that he doesn’t need her pity, because he’ll be fucking rich soon.
If your hero has a plan, how can he be forced to accelerate it? Perhaps he learns new information, or a window of opportunity is closing.
- Picking up on the previous point, he could find out that his mother is with the Lost Boys, and he just told her about a lot of drug moving through their turf. At this point Mitch knows it’ll only be a matter of time before the gang comes for them. Which leads perfectly into the other card, and into the established narrative.
Coincidence happens. Brainstorm three ways your hero and antagonist could find themselves in the same location unexpectedly.
- If it wasn’t for the wedding, and for Barb, his mother would have come back to see Mitch. None of that would have happened.
With that, let’s look at the next card introducing a ticking clock.
From each major character’s perspective, establish a deadline or ultimatum. Phrase italic this: If the hero doesn’t do ___ by ___, then the consequence is ___.
- If Nathan doesn’t get the drugs delivered as soon as fucking possible, “The Knuckle” will show him where this nickname comes from.
- If Sarah doesn’t get the guys to take care of business soon, she’ll take it into her own hands and leave them behind (as she has in scene 1).
- If Mitch doesn’t get rid of the drugs before the gang shows up, he’ll be in deep shit with the people from his past.
Heroes won’t always beat the clock. Work through what might happen if they fail.
- Well, I’d say a gang of bikers shows up, takes Mitch hostage, forces Sarah and Nathan to flee, and ends up in a shootout with the drug-mob. Know what I mean?
This is a lot of information. Let’s sum it up by saying that Mitch’s mother taunted him into telling her of the drugs, which, he knows, is something she tell her gang friends. She got him that far by reminding him of his own past, his dead-beat father, her own neglect, and the things Mitch found himself forced to do. The scene should end probably with a lot of pressure on all three characters, but Mitch has to be the most violent about it, because this has been his trait up to this point.
Any ideas, thoughts, comments? Would you have done anything differently?
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