So you want to be a writer kid #3.01 What I learnt from TOM

All through high school I participated in tournament of the minds, and I doubt anyone outside of Australia will know what that is so I will explain. You are put into groups of 6 and are given a problem you have to solve in a ten-minute script. You have 6 weeks to solve it, write the script, make costumes and props etc. everyone in your category has the exact same question. So how do you stand out?

You had to find your own interpretation of the question, put your own spin on it. Have different types of characters and different locations. What this experience taught me is to constantly try to find a way to make my work unique.  One of the questions we had was we had to write a song that would solve a social problem (and yes all of our scripts were extremely corny, deal with it). We did it as a talk show with the instruments because the musicians had died on their cause. We all dressed up as an instrument. And surprisingly we got honours that year and it had a lot to do with the way we approached the question. I got to watch a couple of the other schools performances and they were all very similar just set in a different location, ours stood out as being different and unique.

Think about a chick flick. They are all essentially the same thing, a love story, so what has the writer put into it to make it stand out against the others. Think about Brides maids and 27 dresses. Both wedding movies about the brides maids, but still manage to be completely different because the writers found new ways to look at it.

Challenge:

Pitch me a movie about a love story that involves a death, and I’m keeping it simple to see what you can do with it. Email me your pitches and I will do a blog post showing why some are more effective than others.

Things to consider:

  • There are million different ways you could have someone die, why have him or her killed by a random person, and why have them killed by a gun or a drunk driver. Take it a step further. Make it mean something
  • Try to find a new take on the love story, which I’ll admit is hard, but that is what will make your story stand out.

Courtney brown

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