Poverty Princess on Scriptwriting

Writing for the screen and stage is hard. I’m much more accustomed to writing about real life and people I actually now. However, I am really interested in having a career in Screenwriting. I would love to write a series equivalent to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, just without the vampires – they’re so 2009 and The Vampire Diaries is one of the few series I’ve actually given up on. Team Stefan or Team Damon? Team kill them all. Especially bloody Bonnie.

Vampires aside, the show had a lot of heart. The themes and issues it tackled were always handled with class and it had strong women and members of the LBGT community at its core. I aspire to write a similar series with a gay character as it’s lead, just not a shit 40 minute comedy, full of stereotypes, that ends up on BBC 3. May it RIP.

Here are some extracts of the scripts I’ve worked on as part of my Creative Writing Degree. They don’t format great on here but what’s a girl to do?

Laura’s Monologue 

For this task we worked in groups, we were all given a piece of paper with the headings:

  • Sex
  • Age
  • Good Qualities
  • Bad Qualities
  • Deepest Desire
  • Biggest Fear

We all had to contribute an answer to one of these headings without seeing what the other members had wrote.

We ended up with a 16 year old girl who makes friends easily but is a bit of a gossip. She longs for her best friends to get fat; causing her boyfriend to leave her and get with Laura instead. She also has a phobia of hot-water bottles.

I decided to write a monologue in the style of Mean Girls’ but from the POV of a Chanel #5 (Scream Queens) type character.

Dear Diary,

I haven’t experienced pain like this since that time I ordered a hot water bottle from Bed, Bath & Beyond and Beyond turned into 16 hours in the emergency room. I don’t want to go into too much detail on that subject but I just wanted to feel a warm touch. I did not want to end up with blistering burns and a scar the size of Kim Kardashian’s ass. Unlike Kim’s ass I didn’t break the internet; I just broke my hymen.

Today was the worst day of my life. Period. My supposed BFF Naomi totally blew me off after Gym! She didn’t even have the decency to message me privately. She dropped the bomb in the group WhatsApp, publically humiliating me in front of Tiffany and Amber. We don’t even like them that much, but they have their uses.

Tiffany’s uncle married some old crone who’s high up in the Starbucks business so she gets us our Pumpkin Spice Lattes half-off. Love it! Amber’s only redeeming quality is that she’s an extremely talented shop-lifter, specialising in nail polish. Last week she got some real good shit from Sephora and I’m now the proud owner of the full Nars range. Including but not limited to Chinatown, Jungle Red and Night Flight. The ironic thing is I won’t even wear  half the heinous shades because I’m a total Autumn.

Anyway, back to the Whatsapp that ruined my life, Naomi messaged saying; “Can’t do lunch today bitches I’ve got an appointment to get my eyebrows shaped hair flip emoji”. LIAR! She was not shaping her eyebrows ! She was actually shaping up to be a pretty, sneaky whore!

She was actually blowing me off so that she could blow Kyle Carmichael off in the parking lot behind the science labs. Only the same Kyle Carmichael who has liked all my profile pictures since Summer 2014 and I wasn’t even that cute then. Naomi isn’t even that pretty, before she discovered bulimia she looked like a moose. A BIG FAT MOOSE WITH A UNBROW AND CANKLES.

I have to go now because my soul hurts. Who knows if you’ll ever hear from me again, I survived my broken hymen but I don’t know what good a tampax and an Aspirin will do for a broken heart.

TTFN

Laura

x

Hopeless

For this one the class brain-stormed characters and we had to bring them together in a soap-style drama set at Hope University. We were given a character each to develop further and I was given John-James.

JJ is a good-mannered, 19 year old Fresher who is craving independence. His overbearing mother, Irish Roman Catholic Janice, has got a job as a janitor on campus to keep a close watch over him. This proves problematic as JJ is an out gay man, just not to his mother. His dad left his mum when JJ was 5 due to the breakdown of their marriage, leading to Janice developing a drinking problem. Presently she has been 5 years sober but will J-J coming out push her over the edge?

His older sister Katherine, 29, came out as a lesbian when JJ was 10 and Janice kicked her out of the house. Their relationship is strained to say the least. JJ’s friend Louisa lives in halls and has recently suggested JJ moves in because her room-mate was kicked out after having been found selling drugs on campus. JJ would love nothing more to have the chance to explore his new found-freedom living away from home, but he’s worried how his mum will cope on her own.

Other groups decided Helena is a hardcore feminist. Professor Foxe is next in line for Head of the History Department and it is rumoured he has been having inappropriate relationships with students, Helena included. Marie-Lynne is a failed actress turned Drama Teacher, jealous of her twin  brother’s success. The new Dean Marshall is a British Muslim, she’s career driven and the youngest Dean the University has ever had. She hides two secrets: she is Professor Foxe’s love-child on a revenge mission and she’s pregnant. Leon is an unpopular student who gets paid to do work for other students, he recently found a Journal written by Professor Foxe that will expose him as a Nazi-Sympathiser.

Drama, please!

Interior – Katherine’s Car

The lever that controls the position of JJ’s seat has broken so he slides back and forward every time the car turns a corner.

‘Blondie – Call Me’ plays on the radio

Katherine: You’re going to have to tell her at some point, I know she’s a self-centred bitch but I’m pretty sure she’ll notice if you move out.

JJ: I am going to tell her, I just, I feel bad.

Katherine: Why!? For God’s sake JJ, you need to stop being such a mummy’s boy and grow some balls. What have you got to feel bad about?

JJ: Dad left her, you left….

Katherine: I had to leave!

JJ: How is she going to be able to afford the rent by herself?

Katherine: That’s not your problem. She’s a grown woman, you’re 19 years old.

JJ: Well what am I supposed to tell her?

Katherine: Just text her now – “Listen Ice Queen, I can’t deal with your shit anymore. You’re a failure as a mother. I’m moving out, oh and by the way I’m Gay. Kiss-Kiss-Kiss. Former apple of your eye JJ’.

JJ: (Laughs) Yeah okay, I can just hear her now – (Imitating an Irish Accent) “My sons a fag!? My sons a fag! Mary Jesus and Joseph. These Bastard kids will be the death of me. (fake crying) What did I do to deserve this Lord? Oh god I’m going to die alone. Please, give me strength. (Mimes the Holy Cross)

They laugh as Caitlin pulls up to the university campus.

Katherine:  Shit! Speak of the devil and she shall appear. Get out. Quick!

Janice is outside raking up leaves. She notices her children and raises her hand as a gesture of an awkward wave. Katherine fake smiles and gives her the finger. She leans across JJ and opens his door, kisses his cheek and pushes him out.

Exterior – University Campus

JJ walks over to Janice.

Janice: I see your sister hasn’t changed.

JJ: Not now Mum. I’m late for work, Helena’s going to kill me.

Janice: Is Helena the girl who wears the short skirts but doesn’t shave her legs? I just don’t understand these “modern girls”. When I was young we kept our shaven legs closed and our bibles open.

JJ: Goodbye mother.

JJ starts walking towards the SU Bar.

Janice: (shouts) John James text me if you’re going to be home later than 11! You know I can’t sleep till you’re home. And if that Helena tries to dock your pay tell her to shove a Gilette up her..

JJ: (Shouts) Mum!

Exterior – The Student Union

Helena is waiting outside, hands on her hips. She’s wearing a black work skirt with no tights and her legs are hairier than ever.

Helena: You’re late.

JJ: I’m sorry.

He holds the door open and gestures for Helena to go first.

Helena – You sick, masochistic pig. What, because I’m a woman I can’t open a door myself? You know what James, I really thought you were different, but you’re just like the rest of them.

Helena barges past him

JJ – Whatever you say Hagrid.

Student Union Kitchen

Helena is pouring wine into glasses whilst JJ ties his apron and puts on a tie.

Rihanna – We Found Love plays quietly on a radio.

Helena: You’re on wine waiting. There’s a new first year ,Leon, already out there with the cheese. He hasn’t listened to a thing I’ve said and doesn’t know the difference between Gouda and Mozzarella. I’ve been busy too busy covering for you to induct him properly.

She shoots JJ and stern look and hands him a tray of glasses and a bottle of wine.

Helena: Foxe will only drink Merlot, Marie-Lynne will drink whatever you put in front of her and the new Dean has declined the last two glasses but offer her one again, it is her event after all. Got it?

JJ opens his mouth to speak.

Helena: Good, get out there.

JJ struggles trying to balance his tray and open the door at the same time.

Helena moves him out of the way and holds the door open with a smug smirk.

JJ exits.

 

The Middle

 

This week we looked at describing movement and were asked to write something from the mid-point of a story. I decided on a How To Get Away With Murder inspired opening scene for a Drama series pilot.

Exterior – Apartment door

The door is numbered 3.

 

Interior – Apartment

A woman (20-24) is found with her back to the camera in front of a sink and open window. She is wearing a red-dress, unzipped at the back.

Close up of her dark hair pinned up in a doughnut bun, a few strands hang loose blowing in the breeze that comes in from the open window.

Noise can be heard from the street below. Traffic, people shouting, wind.

A police siren grows louder then fades away.

A television can be also heard in the background.

Close up of the woman’s hand.

She is wearing an engagement ring and appears to be pouring wine down the kitchen sink.

 

Exterior – Car Park

Camera cuts to a boy (16-18) standing outside a building, right knee bent and foot pressed to the wall.

He is smoking a cigarette and looking around nervously.

Camera changes to a wide-shot and we see he is outside a petrol station.

Someone is paying for their petrol at the cashier.

 

Interior – Petrol Station

Camera focuses behind customer, cashier in shot.

The back of his head obstructs our view of the counter.

A Television on a shelf above the cashier is showing the local news.

Cashier: Pump number?

Customer: Number 3 and can I get…

Speech cuts out.

 

Exterior – Car Park

Close up of Boy’s face.

He has the last pull of his cigarette and then throws it on the floor.

Close up of his foot stamping it out.

He is wearing Nikes.

He pulls up the hood of his jacket and the camera follows him from behind towards the shop.

 

Interior – Dark Bar

Loud noise – people talking etc.  Elvis – Suspicious minds is playing.

Close up of a white snooker ball, behind it is the tip of a cue and in the foreground the face of a man (30-34).

Camera focuses in clearer on the man’s face.

He has blonde hair and is unshaven.

The top button of his shirt open, and a tie hangs loosely from his collar.

A blonde girl (16-17) appears from behind him, she crouches down and puts her mouth close to his ear and arm drapes her harm  over his shoulder.

She is clearly intoxicated and wearing heavy make-up.

Intoxicated Girl: Don’t fuck it up.

The man turns his head to face her and smiles.

She raises her glass to his mouth.

Half empty, Jack Daniels and coke.

She tipples it into his mouth then places the empty glass on the side of the table.

He licks his lips and without looking at the table draws back the cue and hits the white ball.

A close up of ball number 3 bouncing of the far side of the table and into the pocket in front of the glass.

The woman jumps for joy, spins around and her shoulder bag knocks the glass to the floor.

 

Interior – Apartment

Close up of shattered glass on the floor next to dark-haired woman’s bare feet.

News Reporter on TV: The body has been identified as 20-year-old student Connor Anderson.

The woman is looking at the TV, left hand over mouth.

 

Interior – Petrol Station

The hooded boy lurks in an aisle near a freezer, pretending to read the label on a tub of Ice-Cream.

Customer exits.

He storms to the till and removes his hood.

Once he reaches the cashier, he hesitates and reaches inside his jacket.

 

Interior Bar-

The intoxicated girl is kissing the man from the pool table.

A young man (20-24), dark hair, smart jacket and scarf appears and drags her away by the arm.

Dark-Haired Man: We need to leave. Now.

The news report plays on a television above the bar behind them.

Inaudible but shows a news reporter standing in the woods and the words ‘Body of local student Connor Anderson found in woods’ scroll across the bottom the screen.

Camera shot from above, the two characters look directly into the lens and the girl’s face drops.

Blonde Man: Maybe you should leave and she can stay here with me.

Pulls at the girl’s other arm.

She turns to face him.

She has a terrified expression and tears in her eyes.

 

Interior – Petrol Station 

The boy pulls a mobile phone from the inside pocket of his jacket.

Close up of the phone pressed to his head.

Pause.

Camera zooms out and the boys head raises to look at the TV.

 

Interior – Apartment

The woman lowers her hand holding a  phone from her ear and allows the phone to slip through her fingers.

Close up of the phone amongst the shattered glass.

A young man (20-14) enters from bedroom.

He is only wearing boxer shorts and runs his hands through his messy hair.

He is not wearing an engagement ring.

Man: Did you just smash something?

The woman’s looks at him but she remains completely still.

Dark-Haired Woman: They’ve found him.

She begins to cry.

Dark-Haired Woman: They’ve found him Jack. What are we going to do?

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