Writing 1 with Joe Janes, Homework for Thursday

This is the homework for Thursday. In class people would read it out, so we got to see how these dialogues played, and that was great fun. What I discovered was that my dialogues really did sound like two people talking, a skill I didn’t realise I posessed.

This played out as quite comedy, I was pleased with. I clearly need to practice too, but decidedly a start with which I am happy! See what you think.

Monologues and dialogues
In monologues and dialogues, think like improv, make the location clear, think about the character’s desires. Write out the list below as the guide for the dialogue, it doesn’t matter if it changes during the writing, the key is to have it written as a guide should you need it. As such, mine deviates a little from my guide.

1) Who, where, what – main character, objective, location, why they are in the location / what they are doing in the location
2) First turning point – the problem, what is the obstacle
3) heightening the problem / raising the stakes. Usually this is the other character having a desire that is in opposition with the main character
4) second turning point – a solution is introduced, the character gets a glimpse of how to get what they want
5) succeeds or fails – if succeeds, usually it costs more than it was worth – that is comedy.

For example:
1) Bill, is in Starbucks, to buy coffee – for his boss (means he HAS to buy it)
2) The barista is his ex / recent one night stand (some emotional connection)
3) She’s pregnant, time is an issue (shown by boss being outside or boss calling / paging him) – he is dealing with more than one issue now
4) Female boss comes in, offers some kind of solution, maybe even fires him, or spins that he is a good guy, so he gets a promotion
5) Maybe the promotion is for being an arsehole

Discover stuff as you write, but it is nice to have a game plan
Think about how we get the relevant information out. This is like improv, we must let the audience know the details because all we have is words and spacework, minimal props.

+++

Character / Objective
Relationship
Environment

1) Who, where, what
2) First turning point – the problem
3) heightening the problem / raising the stakes
4) second turning point – a solution is introduced
5) succeeds or fails

1) Who, where, what – Bike shop, working on bikes, older and younger brother, younger brother wants cash to get another tattoo.
2) First turning point – the problem – He already owes his brother cash. Brother does not want to loan him more cash.
3) heightening the problem / raising the stakes – Brother doesn’t like tattoos. Brother wants cash back from his brother because he wants to pay to have his own tattoo removed
4) second turning point – a solution is introduced – A punter waiting for his bike being mended suggests he’s in need of a gay pole dancer
5) succeeds or fails – Dom becomes a gay pole dancer

Clearly state the details – more research
Acknowledge the character of the customer at the top
Simplify – the brother needing the tattoo removed isn’t necessary

The environment:
This is a bike shop. There is a customer in the shop, Frank is working on his bike.

Spacework of being in a bike shop – Frank spinning a wheel.

+++

[Dom walks in, and wanders nonchalantly over. He’s got a large bandage on the top of his arm.]

Dom:
Hey

Frank:
Bro.

[Long pause as Franks continues to work]

Frank:
Pass me the wrench would you.

Dom:
That’ll be 5 bucks.

Frank:
Whatever

[both laugh. Frank continues working]

Frank:
So, d’you get the job? It’ll be cool to have a brother who’s a Chicago barman! Maybe you can even start to buy the beers.

Dom:
Yeah. That’s not happening. But in other news…

[pause]

Frank:
Ah well. got to keep on plugging away. What you do to your arm?

Dom:
About that…

Frank:
What’s the story this time?

Dom:
Well. I just got this new tattoo. “Mel”, writ big and bold on a banner held by an angel, it looks very cool.

Frank:
Really? You can be such a dick sometimes, but it’s your money. Or rather, mine. You still owe me 12 hundred bucks, your tattoo going to work that off for you?

Dom:
Dude, Mel’s an awesome girl, sometimes you just gotta make a commitment to a lady.

Frank:
You’ve only been seeing her for 5 minutes. And that tattoo sounds like someone selling parking. After she’s dumped you, maybe she’ll pay you to stand outside her house to direct trucks up her drive.

[Frank makes a pumping action and toots]

[Dom makes to thump Frank, in a brotherly fashion]

Dom:
Ha ha. Whatever, we’re in love, I’m moving in with her.

Frank:
Yeah, well good luck with that. So, why’re you here? What are you after. ‘Cos bank of Frank is closed until some of his capital is returned.

Dom:
Dude, rent is sorted, I’m moving in with Mel, no problems. I just gotta get the rest of this tattoo paid for.

Frank:
So pay for it. Or get Mel to spot you. Woman should pay for her bill board!

Dom:
Dude, that was part of my deal with her, I show my commitment to her, I get to move in. But I gotta find the cash, prove I’m solid.

Frank:
Sounds like you’re just thinking with your solid [raises little finger]. And to think my little bro’s pecker would keep any woman happy. As your porn teacher I’m proud of you, you certainly dedicated yourself to your revision.

Dom:
We always were a family of hand me downs. So anyway, you going to spot me?

Frank:
What for? The tattoo? Not a hope! You know I don’t believe in tattoos.

Dom:
You used to. “Ally 4 Frankie baby”!

Frank:
Yeah, like I said, I don’t believe in tattoos. I was a dick like you once too, now I gotta clean up my own graffiti.

Dom:
Well I’m still a young man, happy to make my own mistakes. I’m like Eddison.

Frank:
Eddison invented the light bulb. The only bulb you ever invented was an over squeezed purple one. It only glows because you abuse it.

Dom:
Yeah, well I still need the cash bro.

Frank:
You and me both. You know how much it costs to get a tattoo removed?!

Dom:
But I don’t want to get it removed. I love her.

Frank:
I’m not talking about her you shit wit, I’m talking about me. 5 to 8 rounds of laser treatment. That’s $2000. I’m growing the fuck up. In fact, the cash you owe me needs to start heading back in this direction.

Dom:
$2000? Just get another tattoo over the top! And I’ll get you the cash. When I get some in myself.

Frank:
When you get some in yourself? So basically I give you some cash and then you pay me some money out of the cash I give you. I should call you Bernie Madeoff. What’s your middle name, Ponzi?

Dom:
I don’t know what you’re talking about. Look, I just need a 5 hundred bucks. If you can’t give it me all right now, a couple hundred will do for the mo. C’mon bro, this is my ticket to a roof over my head.

Frank:
This is your ticket to slotting you car into her crusty garage more like. I hope you’re tarping the thing up or next you’ll be spending all this money you don’t have getting it fixed up in the shop.

Dom:
Ha ha. She’s not like that any more.

Frank:
Dude, I don’t care what she’s like, you want the cash, you go work for it, ‘n’ start to pay me back, I’ve problems of my own to deal with

Dom:
What job am I going to do? Male stripper? There ain’t no jobs out there?

Frank:
Who’d pay to watch you get your pecker out?! But hey, if you can get the work…

Customer:
Sorry, did I hear you were a stripper?

Dom and Frank:
Er?

Customer:
Sorry for butting in, but my brother’s having a party for his boyfriend this weekend, and he was stressing out about the stripper. His boyfriend is the real jealous type, only wants a straight stripper. And especially not a buff one. No offence, but I really think you’d fit the bill, there’s no way they’d fancy you… it’s $600 for 2 hours work.

Frank:
Ha, I love it! So Dom, there’s your answer. Cash in hand, and all you gotta do is dangle your skinny bits in another guy’s face for the night. It’ll be like soccer practice, you always enjoyed the locker room more than on the field!

Dom:
Not a hope! No, this ain’t my thing. What do you mean they wouldn’t fancy me?

Customer:
Well, it’s just you aren’t their type…

Frank:
Seriously bro. For $600, I’d even let them smother you in whipped cream and lick it off. Mr, it’s a deal, he’ll do it.

Dom:
I’m not gay! And I am buff!

Customer and Frank:
No you ain’t!

Frank:
Don’t be such a pussy. Besides, what’s to worry about. Just don’t get an erection. Or do, they may give you a tip for that.

+++

Dom dressed in a gimp mask and leather chaps, which he whips off to reveal a tight leather thong. Big grin on his face.
In walks someone with an oversized can of whipped cream

+++++++++++

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