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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Screenwriting Discussion    Screenwriting Class  ›  Writing an Intertwining Story Moderators: George Willson
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Steven
Posted: August 3rd, 2017, 8:25am Report to Moderator
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Intertwining, I think that's the right word? How would one classify Babel, Traffic or Crash?


Either way, that's what I'm currently doing, but have a couple of questions...more like do's and don't's.


Should each story (in my case there are three) actually be intertwined to the point of direct contact with the other plots, or is it alright to just have these people live in the same world and deal with similar issues?


I'm assuming each plot needs to follow a structure that a "normal" plot would follow, or is it fine to have all plots work toward a united goal?


I don't know, I'm a little confused, but what I'm writing is too much for a 120 page script (many interesting angles) and I don't want to attempt a series.


If interested, here is what I've written so far. It's a drama that focuses on three people with vastly different lives, living in a world where a medical breakthrough can bring the recently deceased (there are limits) back to life.


https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B_vHHlz3zmHYcVRSLUhTNVpyM00
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eldave1
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Quoted Text
Should each story (in my case there are three) actually be intertwined to the point of direct contact with the other plots, or is it alright to just have these people live in the same world and deal with similar issues?


IMO, either approach is fine. It's what ever works for your story.

To me - Love Actually - is a good example of where all the stories intertwine.

Independence Day is an example - at least IMO - where they forced characters to intertwine that normally would not and it seemed forced.

So, if the intertwine is natural - okay. If it is forced for the sake of it - no.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Steven
Posted: August 3rd, 2017, 9:57am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from eldave1


IMO, either approach is fine. It's what ever works for your story.

To me - Love Actually - is a good example of where all the stories intertwine.

Independence Day is an example - at least IMO - where they forced characters to intertwine that normally would not and it seemed forced.

So, if the intertwine is natural - okay. If it is forced for the sake of it - no.


You've been helpful in answering a lot of my bullshit questions for a long time now, haha. So thanks for that.

Here are some details regarding the three storylines I have and how they relate to one another.

My story is about death, and how it's "reversible," with some limitations. Character A, and the first we see, is brought back to life. He tried to kill himself, and did, but his family paid for the procedure to bring him back. His arc is dealing with the issue that made him commit suicide in the first place.

Character B is a reverend of a church (like Westboro Baptist) who is completely against these doctors "playing God," and such. But he has a secret, his wife died of cancer. He paid to have her brought back. Now she's essentially stuck in their home so the secret doesn't get out. They have protests outside of hospitals, one of which is where Character A is staying during his recovery. This is the only direct interaction between any of the character "groups."

Character C is a new employee at the medical company that developed the procedure. She's a "Monitor," or someone who keeps track of people brought back. This is where some sci-fi aspects come in. Since she's new, she's tasked with observing only one person at a time, and that happens to be the first character I spoke of. She's the morality vessel of the story, and details of the tech come from her side of things since she's right in the mix.

Each of these characters will have resolution to their stories.
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eldave1
Posted: August 3rd, 2017, 10:10am Report to Moderator
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Sounds interesting.

First blush - there seems to be a potential natural intertwine between the preacher and the suicide guy (i.e., suicide guy goes to church for guidance).  Not so much for the  medical tech


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Steven
Posted: August 3rd, 2017, 10:26am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from eldave1
Sounds interesting.

First blush - there seems to be a potential natural intertwine between the preacher and the suicide guy (i.e., suicide guy goes to church for guidance).  Not so much for the  medical tech


The arc for the Reverend ends with him leaving his position in the church in favor of helping people brought back having a hard time adjusting...so I could see them meeting toward the end.

I have about 20 pages of this written already, and I'm happy with them with the exception of some dialogue polishing needing to be done. That, and the first page needs to be a bit more "punchy."

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B_vHHlz3zmHYcVRSLUhTNVpyM00

EDIT: I sat on this for a couple of weeks, for sure need to rewrite a few things here and there.

Revision History (1 edits)
Steven  -  August 3rd, 2017, 10:43am
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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 3rd, 2017, 2:33pm Report to Moderator
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What you're talking about here is stories with Multiple points of view.

An intertwining story would by definition .. Intertwine with the others.

You can tell stories that don't interact, but they are more rare and they generally exist around one incident.. See Crash and Short Cuts. If the stories don't intercut the narrative drive is usually thematic.. You are making a point about society as a whole by looking at different aspects of life.

It's far more common that they interact. Usually your three main characters will be after the same thing... Even if it's vague or not obvious till the end.

A recent example is Expanse... There are three separate stories, but they are all united by the main characters seeking to stop an upcoming war.

LA confidential is a masterpiece in terms of Intertwining. The characters want the same thing... To catch the killer, but for different reasons, and the writer uses subplots that connect to the other main stories to keep the narrative drive and to connect the plots  together.


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Steven
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Quoted from Scar Tissue Films
What you're talking about here is stories with Multiple points of view.

An intertwining story would by definition .. Intertwine with the others.

You can tell stories that don't interact, but they are more rare and they generally exist around one incident.. See Crash and Short Cuts. If the stories don't intercut the narrative drive is usually thematic.. You are making a point about society as a whole by looking at different aspects of life.

It's far more common that they interact. Usually your three main characters will be after the same thing... Even if it's vague or not obvious till the end.

A recent example is Expanse... There are three separate stories, but they are all united by the main characters seeking to stop an upcoming war.

LA confidential is a masterpiece in terms of Intertwining. The characters want the same thing... To catch the killer, but for different reasons, and the writer uses subplots that connect to the other main stories to keep the narrative drive and to connect the it's together.


Ah ok I get what you're saying. I'm early into the process so I could very well come up with an idea on how to make these people interact with one another.


I have an end point for two of the characters already. Robert, the suicide case, goes through some things and finds solace in these groups he attends, where he can meet others similar to him. The Reverend, through his arc, will ultimately leave his position at the church and start one of these groups, which Robert tends out of pure coincidence.


I want the last time we see the Reverend to be him contemplating his actions, then in following Robert to his ending, we see the Reverend in his new position.
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Scar Tissue Films
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Also look for multiple storylines and multiple perspectives.

You'll find good discussions on the advantages and disadvantages and be able to find the Films made like that: Pulp fiction, magnolia, crash, live actually, traffic, amores perros etc


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Steven
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Quoted from Scar Tissue Films
Also look for multiple storylines and multiple perspectives.

You'll find good discussions on the advantages and disadvantages and be able to find the Films made like that: Pulp fiction, magnolia, crash, live actually, traffic, amores perros etc


I replied to your other post, by the way.


There is a bit of Pulp Fiction in what I'm writing. Character C's (the employee of the company) story takes place at the same time as Robert's. The first time we see her, Robert is still in recovery. As soon as he opens his eyes, we see Character C "monitoring" him. That's where the surveillance comes in.


This is the part where I'm struggling. The monitoring is basically a way to "protect" the recipient of the procedure which brings them, and keeps them alive. Basically what I'm getting at is New Life (the company) will have access to the person's vitals, and be able to see what they're seeing, in real time. If something fishy goes down, like maybe another suicide attempt, safety measures (to protect the tech, not the person) have been put in place to prevent such things from happening...this is the sci-fi aspect and I'm debating how deep to go.
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Scar Tissue Films
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The first two characters are dealing with some kind of second chance and specifically a new situation that forces them to confront their beliefs.

The third character doesn't yet seem to fit into that paradigm. You might want to find a way to do that or her storyline will feel like a spare part. Maybe something along the lines of how she chooses who gets a second chance and the morality if it.

Your characters will all be dealing with that scenario in different ways, with very different points of view.

If they all end up agreeing with one way of being, it may seem didactic.. That you are bashing people over the head with what you believe. Remember to consider having some of the characters deciding something else. Like maybe the religious wife wants to be dead again and go back to heaven, for instance.

Her side if the story may even be better than your current third character.

It sounds good, by the way. Make sure you fully explore the potential of the idea.


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Scar Tissue Films
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Quoted from Steven


I replied to your other post, by the way.


There is a bit of Pulp Fiction in what I'm writing. Character C's (the employee of the company) story takes place at the same time as Robert's. The first time we see her, Robert is still in recovery. As soon as he opens his eyes, we see Character C "monitoring" him. That's where the surveillance comes in.


This is the part where I'm struggling. The monitoring is basically a way to "protect" the recipient of the procedure which brings them, and keeps them alive. Basically what I'm getting at is New Life (the company) will have access to the person's vitals, and be able to see what they're seeing, in real time. If something fishy goes down, like maybe another suicide attempt, safety measures (to protect the tech, not the person) have been put in place to prevent such things from happening...this is the sci-fi aspect and I'm debating how deep to go.



OK. I would suggest this: the suicide guy decides he wants to live. The wife wants to die. The tech woman has to choose whether or not to let the wife die again.

All storylines unified and powerful stuff.


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Steven
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Quoted from Scar Tissue Films
The first two characters are dealing with some kind of second chance and specifically a new situation that forces them to confront their beliefs.

The third character doesn't yet seem to fit into that paradigm. You might want to find a way to do that or her storyline will feel like a spare part. Maybe something along the lines of how she chooses who gets a second chance and the morality if it.

Your characters will all be dealing with that scenario in different ways, with very different points of view.

If they all end up agreeing with one way of being, it may seem didactic.. That you are bashing people over the head with what you believe. Remember to consider having some of the characters deciding something else. Like maybe the religious wife wants to be dead again and go back to heaven, for instance.

Her side if the story may even be better than your current third character.

It sounds good, by the way. Make sure you fully explore the potential of the idea.


Having vastly different POV's is something I wanted for this story after realizing that focusing on only one would be too difficult.

Initially I wanted Robert to off himself at the end of his arc. The way it stands now, he's gained the interest of a woman at a group session he's attending. I'll play with that for a while so he can move on, with the help of her and his own brother, who is introduced in the beginning. This character has the most meat, by the way.

I know for a fact I want the Reverend to have redemption, either because he chooses to leave the church or because he's ostracized by his congregation when they find out about his wife. Robert's character states he didn't see any white light or anything for the 48 hours he was dead, so neither will the reverend's wife...which will cause her to lose faith, and thus will effect/affect the reverend. Sorry I'm typing my thoughts, but I think this is a good catalyst to his leaving the church, revealing he brought her back, etc.

I want eyes inside the company, showing hows things work and revealing what goes on to maintain their technology. By the way, this is not a story of an "evil corporation," merely just showing what they're doing in order to protect the tech. This is the idea I still need to flesh out, which is fine, I can still write the other stories.
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Steven
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Quoted from Scar Tissue Films



OK. I would suggest this: the suicide guy decides he wants to live. The wife wants to die. The tech woman has to choose whether or not to let the wife die again.

All storylines unified and powerful stuff.


I don't want to spoil the tech, but yes, if the Monitor notices that the person has vitals on the verge of death, she is able to manually control the situation. There will be dialogue mentioning that this is in the process of being automated, as Monitors have failed to save a person on time for various reasons...so I like this idea and thank you for it.

Her time in the story will be almost 100% in front of her station keeping up with Robert. We won't go to her when she's not working.
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Scar Tissue Films
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Personally I think all of them losing faith is too didactic. The story basically becomes an anti religious rant. I would avoid that personally, but it's your story.

You'll end up with three stories all told from the same, materialistic perspective which defeats the object of multiple points of view.


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Steven
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Quoted from Scar Tissue Films
Personally I think all of them losing faith is too didactic. The story basically becomes an anti religious rant. I would avoid that personally, but it's your story.

You'll end up with three stories all told from the same, materialistic perspective which defeats the object of multiple points of view.


Maybe I conveyed something wrong, I don't want them to all have the same outcome. In other words I don't want them to be the same in the end as they were when they started.
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