Monday, February 06, 2006

Conf 142: PARAKEETS & SCENES

No. of words: 57,790

We had the first parakeet http://www.bbc.co.uk/england/sevenwonders/london/parakeets/on our new bird/squirrel table yesterday. They're as common as robins in west London these days, but tend to stay way up in the trees screeching to each other. Friends who visit from out of London are totally amazed when they first see them, as we were to see one so close up. Seems they've been around for a long time, and the first may have been released by Jimi Hendrix!

French people also find the grey squirrel an exotic sight, which always makes English people fall about laughing, because they're as ubiquitous as the London pigeon. France still has the native reds, which we would go equally potty about if we ever caught sight of one. The greys have driven our native reds to near extinction, so much so there's going to be a nationwide cull. We have 2 permanent residents to outwit here (ref. bird table), people either think they're cute or rats with bushy tails. We think they're cute, but it is annoying the way they eat the bird table up so fast sometimes. Partner is going to try putting vaselene on the pole to stop them climbing up.

Did some writing over the weekend. Today daughter's off school with cold so have to go and do something creative with her now before her eyes go square. I'm working for 2 days from tomorrow, since saying I'd get novel finished, realised I can't let the contact go and have to keep my face in there as it's a lifeline at the moment. Today I also e mailed other agent, as she's had material nearly a month now, tricky one this, to pesker or not pesker, but there's a chance it got caught up in the slush pile or waste bin as she works for a big agency. I didn't enclose an SAE because I know she'd e mail if she were interested but the post openers might not have realised it was requested material - oh anyone who's ever submitted anything will know the crack. Went for polite but distant tone.

Dear V,

Sorry to pester, but as this was sent several weeks ago now just wanted to check it got into your system OK.

Regards,


McKEEISMLY SCENE ANALYSIS USED TODAY:


Who drives the scene, motivates it and makes it happen? Person or act of nature or inanimate object?

Look into text and subtext of this character or force. What does he (it) want? Desire is always the key. Phrase this desire as an infinitive, such as ‘to do this or ‘to get that’.

What force of antagonism blocks this desire?

What do the forces of antagonism want? Express as infinitive ‘not to do that’ ‘to get this instead’.

B: Identify the value at stake in the scene and note its charge. Positive or negative. Eg. “freedom”

C: Break the scene into beats:

First action – outwardly what character seems to be doing. And more important, beneath to what is actually doing. NAME the subtext action eg. Begging, grovelling, pleading.
Try and find phrases that not only indicate action, but touch the feelings of the character.
Not describing character activity in literal terms, they go deeper to name the character’s essential action with emotive connotation.
Now look across the scene to see what action that action brought and describe reaction with an active phrase eg ‘Ignoring the plea.’

D: Note closing value and compare with opening value. Examine value-charged condition of the character’s situation and describe it in postivie/negative terms. If same as at beginning NON EVENT! IF value has changed the scene has turned.

(mostly from Story by Robert McKee I think, though why it goes C D I don't know....)

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.

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