Coming up with an idea is one thing, transforming it into a plot outline is a whole another thing!!
All the open-endedness and ambiguity left within the idea now had to be settled, all the things I hadn’t quite figured out as of yet had to now be figured. As we were told, if you don’t have an ending you don’t really have a beginning either. So where did that leave my story? Where did I go with it from here? Now look, I am probably over dramatising this process (perhaps just slightly), but being 110% realistic here, it was a much more difficult process than I was expecting it to be!!
Quick recap of my idea:
“Samantha and Blake awaken in a strange, dark, unfamiliar house with no recollection of how they got there. A pool of blood, not yet fully dried stains the floor. What happened the night before? And why are the two locked in, unable to leave?”
Taking this idea I initially envisioned as a murder-mystery-esque thriller sort of film, I began to wonder what was the ending to this film? What action was going to occur? The possibilities should have been almost endless, yet I had nothing, I was stuck!! Reading an extract from A. Mackendrick’s ‘On film-making: an introduction to the craft of the director’ was a big help however. It offered a technique that had been used for centuries, dating back to ancient Greek literature. Mendrick’s suggests thinking about what your character is going to be like at the end and then starting them off as the opposite in the beginning to ensue true character progression; after all character is what determines plot. For example in Oedipus Rex, Oedipus who starts off as arrogant in the beginning ends up humiliated by the end
With this in mind I decided character progression was going to be central to my story, one of the two trapped going from frightened ‘victim’ to the powerful, in control victim. And just to twist things up a bit why not make that character the female character?
And this is where it ended up:
“18-year-old Samantha a petite girl, frighteningly shakes 21-year-old Blake awakening him from a deep induced sleep. As he groggily awakens trying to place his surroundings, the first thing he notices is an almost dried pool of blood staining the floor. The dark, dingy looking room unfamiliar to him. Fear quickly snaps him out of his dazed state. Samantha, now clinging to Blake shaking, begins to talk and tries to recollect what happened the night before, but neither of the two are able to piece anything together. Trying to play the role of the hero, Blake assures Samantha everything is going to be okay and commands her to remain where she is. He moves through the deserted house checking every barricaded window and locked door. Hearing a weird, squelching noise amongst the silence of the house, and fearing that Samantha may be in danger; Blake runs back to the room he left her in. There is no one else in the room, but he sees Samantha crouched over an object. As he slowly moves closer to her he realizes it is a human arm. Samantha turns around, her pupils are dilated, blood and small bits of flesh around her face. Blake begins to back away, confused and frightened; Samantha launches towards him in a cannibalistic rage.”