December 20th, 2007

Alphabet Soup 1

From an article by Eric Witchey in the September issue of The Writer. He says give your characters ABC – agenda, backstory, and conflict.

He says each character has three agendas:
- An overall agenda, which consists of broad hopes, life goals. (This is the agenda.)
- A scene agenda, which is what they want in any given scene. (This is the conflict.)
- A compulsive agenda, which is a deeper, hidden need. (This is the backstory)

I always have C. And I usually have A and B, but not always both. At least not consciously. What about you?



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There go my dreams of bonding

I loved that show, My So-Called Life. I came this close to getting it for my 12-year-old for Christmas. I imagined us bonding over it.

Then Netflix started carrying it. And I was overjoyed. I put it first in my queue.

Guess what? She hates it. She will only watch it with me if a) she gets to eat a treat and b) simultaneously gets to play a computer game on the lap top.

Why does she hate it?
1. The clothes. I'll admit that the wardrobe choices are a little odd. I'm not sure the clothes looked good back then. But she takes one look at Angela's (Claire Danes) shapeless dresses or overalls and groans.
2. The fact that Raeanne once called Angela's dad "cute." Or something like that. Possibly "sexy." As far as she is concerned, dads can never ever fall into that category. Which is probably healthy.
3. This is the most surprising reason. She says all of the five episodes we've seen so far are too "self-esteemy."

I told her to put something in the Netflix queue she might want to watch at Christmas. This is what she picked. Delicatessen. "Gentle clown Louison (Dominique Pinon) moves into an apartment building with a deli on the ground floor and falls for the butcher's daughter, Julie (Marie-Laure Dougnac). It's soon discovered that Julie's father (Jean-Claude Dreyfus) is actually butchering people ( a la Sweeney Todd) and selling the meat to tenants. At a crossroads, Julie must decide whether to remain loyal to her father or expose him to save Louison from becoming the next entree." Typical 12-year-old fare, right?

Meanwhile, I'm liking it. Not loving it, the way I remembered.

Have your rewatched My So-Called Life? What did you think the second time around?



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