Revised Characters for Luna

I asked about my planned show, Luna, a spinoff of Carol, Adrian, and Keisha, to see if the characters were stereotypes,  after one person on the Internet told me that they were (she was rather offended), I decided to make drastic changes.  I hope these changes make the characters more nuanced, respectable, and sympathetic.

CHARACTERS

LUNA SANTIAGO

Luna is 15. She is the most stylish and fashionable girl in her school. Luna has a reputation for causing bad luck wherever she goes.  She is rather clumsy, and despite her good intentions, she always causes problems for people She is for the most part feared and despised by her classmates and her community who are worried about her causing issues such as accidentally injuring them or destroying their property. Luna is not a bad person at all, but she just does not always know how to help others, and so sometimes, her attempts make things worse.

Luna does not get along with her parents because she has often causes trouble for them, due to her clumsiness.  She has humiliated them several times with her accidents such as spilling food on her businesswoman mother’s client, and causing him to get an allergic reaction.

She also has a poor reputation with her friends’ parents.  She once cooked dinner for her friends Lucas and Isaac and their parents; however, she was not a very good cook and she wound up giving them food poisoning, landing all of them in the hospital, and almost killing, their dad in the process.  Lucas and Isaac forgave her, but their parents did not.

Luna is unpopular at school and is a regular target of the two most popular girls in school, Alyssa Hernandez and Hazel Nowicki.  They used to be friends, but Luna accidentally killed Alyssa’s dog and Hazel’s cat.  They never forgave her for that, and spent much of their time turning the kids at school against her, by claiming that she did it on purpose.

Luna is even unpopular with the adults in her town.  For example, at school, she has caused several incidents that ended up hurting the schools reputation such as accidentally locking the principal in his office, preventing him from speaking at an assembly.

Nonetheless, despite constantly causing problems and feeling discouraged by her life, Luna always tries again to make things better.  She is never discouraged for long.

 

ALBERTO “AL” MELENDEZ

Al is one of Luna’s first cousins.  He has twin sister who is named Alberta, but who is usually called Allie.  Al is a film buff.  He always has been.  He started making short film at the age of three.  Much like his twin sister, he is perfectionist in his film pursuits, always giving them an almost obsessive attention to detail.

His best friend is Lucas Aguilar.  They are close because Al does not have brother, yet (His mother is expecting another set of twins, a boy and a girl, at the start of the show), and therefore they have a bond that is just like the one between brothers.

Al and Allie often argue with each other.  Allie will sometimes behave condescendingly to him because she is two minutes older than.  Nonetheless, like most siblings, they do love each other, and they will always be there for each other when they need each other the most.

ALBERTA “ALLIE” MELENDEZ

Allie, is another of Luna’s first cousins.  She is Al’s twin sister.  She has a type-A personality, and is very active in sports, other extra-curricular activities at school and throughout the community, and is one of the smartest kids in the school.  She is the opposite of Luna and a perfectionist.

However, sometimes, she is not successful due to Luna’s flaws.  For example, she had a paper due, but Luna accidentally destroyed her computer, and Allie failed the assignment since the teacher would not accept late papers.

Nonetheless, Allie is still close to Luna, and know that through everything, Luna does try her best.

RICARDO VILLANUEVA

Ricardo is perhaps Luna’s gay best friend, and shares her interests in things like fashion for instance.

Growing up, Ricardo had lots of struggles.  He was always feminine in behavior, close to his sister, hung out with girls instead of boys.  He didn’t get along with his parents, especially his father, who felt that his interests were inappropriate for boys.  Ricardo faced bullying in school which intensified in middle school.  It got so bad that he began ditching school to avoid bullies.  His parents found out and angrily confronted the schools about them not handling the bullying.  At this point, Ricardo’s parents began to slowly learn to accept him for who and how he is, and Ricardo’s self-confidence improved to the point that he can now stand up for himself and doesn’t care

 

LUCAS AGUILAR

Lucas is 15, and plays on the junior varsity soccer team.  He is known as the type of guy who tells it like it is.  He has a measure of being cynical and sarcastic in his personality, though he is still driven to achieve his goals.

When his younger brother Lucas began high school, and joined him on the junior varsity soccer team, there was some jealousy and minor rivalry between the two brothers.  Lucas felt jealous that in some way, Isaac had more skills than he did when he was 14.  Nonetheless, the two brothers remain supportive of each other no matter what

ISAAC AGUILAR

Isaac is 14, and is Lucas’s younger brother.  Though a freshman, he was good enough to be on the junior varsity soccer team.  Thought there was some initial conflict between the two brothers, due to jealousy on Lucas’s part, and a desire on Isaac’s part to live up to his brother’s skills.  Nonetheless, they always support each other, on and off the field.

Isaac is different from Lucas in that he more friendly and engaging than Lucas (not to say that Lucas has a bad personality).  He is a “boy next door” type of guy.  Though, somewhat socially awkward, he is always pleasant in personality.

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TV Tropes Tuesday: TV Tropes: Designated Heroes and Designated Villains

Today is TV Tropes Tuesday, and I will talk about two of my favorite tropes, which are the Designated Hero and the Designated Villain.  

Most stories have a hero and villain.  However, we’ve all seen or read or heard stories where the heroes are not very heroic, and the villains are not very villainous.  The heroes are meant to be sympathetic, but come across as unsympathetic, and possibly even actual villains; on the other hand, the villains might come across as sympathetic, and maybe even heroic, especially if they never do anything that is truly wrong.

In my attempts at developing stories, I have had trouble with this issue.  I’ve wanted to depict my characters doing bad things, but then I’m told that they sound too unlikable.  It’s hard to strike a balance, but I’ve always wanted to depict bad people doing bad things; I tend to find unlikable characters to be the most interesting.

For example, with my character Luna, I’ve intended for her to be an anti-hero trying to get through life while living in a town where she is completely and utterly despised by almost everyone; to distinguish from the designated hero, my intention is that she is still the hero of her story has at least generally good intentions, although she does some morally questionable things, but I’ve realized that some of the things I’ve imagined her doing go too far and would likely make her unlikable and unsympathetic.

I’ve thought of several ways to fix that issue.

I could tone down her bad behavior and try to make her more funny and sympathetic, instead of just an insufferable brat.

I could also depict her as receiving disproportionately unfair punishments; to expand on that I have created story lines where Luna received unfair punishments for lots of things.  For example, her story begins after she has spent the summer in Juvie after the cheer leading squad jumped her.  Even though, she was defending herself, she was charged and sentenced.  I also have Luna regularly being a victim of bullying and harassment, and the school staff does nothing about it, as they hate her.  Yet another story line focuses on Luna getting her first car, and then is arrested for driving ONE mile over the speed limit. Luna is selfish and spoiled, and she doesn’t always do right by her family and friends, but that does not justify being treated unfairly by the justice system or being ignored by her school when she is bullied and harassed.

This is my attempt to avoid making Luna into a designated hero.

Interestingly, I have also considered doing other things, like making Luna so unsympathetic, that the audience is rooting against her and is happy when she is justly punished at the end; this would make her a Villain Protagonist.

I’ve also imagined Luna being unfairly treated by someone, and her antagonist is portrayed as being in the right.  This is interesting because in a way Luna is a Villain Protagonist, and her opponent is a Hero Antagonist; however, the way in which I imagined would make them Designated Villain Protagonist and Designated Hero Antagonist  One story line involves Luna being reunited with someone whom she accidentally outed as gay to the entire school, leading to them dropping out to avoid being bullied.  This person decides to get revenge against Luna by framing her for saying derogatory things about the LGBT community.  When Luna proves her innocence, the person is called out harshly for their actions, but then Luna loses her support, when the others out what she did to the person. The message is that if someone outs you, you have the right to do whatever you want to destroy their life.  Not a good message.  An audience might not like that story, so I will try to make Luna more sympathetic, rather than expecting the audience to root against her.

Moving on, my show about teachers, I have imagined several major story lines where they do lots of bad things, like sabotaging each other, the principal public shaming her bad-behaving daughter, a teacher accidentally injuring a student and covering it up, two teachers destroying each others’ house, and all sorts of things.  Now, I’ve tried to make things not so harsh, and to include humor, but many of the characters could be regarded as designated heroes, and I’ve gotta do work to make them more sympathetic.  I’ve at least made a mean character nice to certain people and supportive of mental health issues and the LGBT community.

The next paragraph has spoilers.

To end this blog post, I will talk about an example of a designated hero that I have seen.  I enjoyed the Hulu original series East Los High, a teen drama which focuses on the students of a high school in the predominantly Mexican-American neighborhood of East Los Angeles.  One of the characters, Jessie, is dating a jock named Jacob.  When Jacob becomes close to Jessie’s cousin, Maya, Jessie becomes jealous and sleeps with her dance teacher (who seems to be about the same age as her), Cristian after spending lots of time alone with him.  Jessie shortly afterwards has sex with Jacob to avoid losing him to Maya.  Jessie had unprotected sex with Cristian (he failed at using the withdrawal method, which anyone who took comprehensive sex ed should and would know is an unreliable birth control method, and that many boys and men often can’t and don’t know exactly when they will reach orgasm and ejaculate, and may not withdraw in time, but I digress.), but Jacob used a condom when she had sex with him.  Jessie finds out that she is pregnant, and tells Jacob that he is the father, when Christian is actually the father.  This leads to Jacob foregoing a scholarship to play football for a college in Indiana, and at her mother’s insistence, he asks Jessie to marry him.  Leading up to the wedding, Jessie never expresses any guilt over lying to Jacob and causing him to give up his future to be a young father and husband.  Eventually as they are about to exchange vows, Jessie feels guilty, refuses to go through with the wedding, and pulls Jacob aside to tell him the truth.

What I noticed on the comments of the episodes is an expression of contempt for Jessie for her dishonesty, infidelity, and for causing Jacob to give up his future.  Yet, through it all, she does not express guilt until the last minute, and the show depicts her sympathetically.  While I personally don’t hate Jessie as a character, I can understand all the negative comments about her.  Perhaps, the show’s writers should have and could have depicted Jessie struggles with her guilt; it would have made her more sympathetic.

Characters for Carol, Adriana, and Keisha

When I was ten (almost eleven, possibly), I developed, in my head, an idea for a show about a group of eight, and later five (I was totally uninterested in three of them so I dropped them), pre-teen children going through all of the hilarity that comes with childhood.  I called it Tweens.  According to a definition I had read, the word tweens referred to people aged 8-14; they were pre-teens and young adolescents.  In my head,  I imagine the series spanning from third grade until the end of ninth grade or ages 8-14.  I then decided to conceive a sequel series.  It involved three girls who were antagonists of sorts of the Tweens.  The three girls, Carol, Adriana, and Keisha were the stars of their show, and I imagined their lives and them dealing with all of the trials and tribulations of being a teenager.  Eventually, I sort of forgot about Tweens, or rather rarely thought about them (Maybe I’ll go back to it one day.  Who knows?).  The new show if it were made could stand on its own even without Tweens.  Now I will tell you about the main characters of the show that I have imagined.

CHARACTERS

CAROL APHRODITE WOOD

Carol is 15.  She is an aspiring actress and longs for stardom.  Carol was born in Hollywood and from a distance witnessed the glamour of stardom.  When she was an infant she appeared in commercials.  Carol was also trained in ballet, tap dance, and jazz dance as well as being classically trained in singing.  Carol is a very optimistic and ambitious person, but at the same time she struggles to avoid being unrealistic in her goals.  Carol will often try to work hard to achieve something, but at the same time, there will be an obstacle in her way.  For example, Carol wants to appear in a professional stage play, but it conflicts with cheerleading and other activities she has.

ADRIANA BLANCA RODRIGUEZ

Adriana is 15 and the fourth of six kids.  She has a very cynical and sarcastic personality.  A hard worker, Adriana takes care of her business because no one else will.  She is the least favorite in her family.  Her parents frequently lavish all sorts of praise and attention o her sibling, Magdalena, Chuy, Javier, and Esperanza, all while neglecting her and treating her like she is unattractive and untalented.  The only exception in her household is her brother Luis.  Luis tends to be rather shy and timid; his family views him as being physically and emotionally weak, and is also the subject of neglect and ridicule from his parents albeit to a lesser extent than Adriana.  Despite her family situation, Adriana never lets his stop her from working towards her goals.  She is on the cheerleading team, she writes for the school newspaper, and dreams of becoming a respected journalist.

KEISHA ELIZABETH METCALFE

Keisha is 15.  Her best friends are Carol Wood and Adriana Rodriguez.  Like them they have been cheerleading since they were young girls.  Keisha is the realistic one of the group, as she lacks Carol’s over-optimism and Adriana’s over-cynicism.  She aspires to be a psychiatrist.  Her career goals were influenced by her mother.  Keisha’s mother gave birth to Keisha at age 16.  She was in love with Keisha’s dad, but he simply used her for sex.  When she became pregnant he matured for Keisha’s sake, but Keisha’s mom never forgave him for that and has since then had a string of unsuccessful relationships.  Keisha is aware that her mother is unhappy, and she seeks to help people like her mother.  Keisha does have a good relationship with her dad, stepmother and two half-siblings.

Keisha’s role, as it were, in the group, is a combination of being a “team mom” and someone who tries to bring Carol down to earth and encourage Adriana to be less cynical.

Characters for South Side of Chicago High School (SSCHS) [Tentative Title]

When I was a senior in high school, I conceived an idea for a TV series.  My main influences were Desperate Housewives and a project that I did in my Radio/TV II class.  The project happened in the fall of my senior; the school principal suggested to our teacher that our class do a soap opera.  We began work on that; we created our own characters and story lines and  filmed some of them; our teacher emphasize that in developing our characters.  One involved a sweet, but naive girl who becomes pregnant.  Another involved the school principal  being blackmailed over an affair she had with some students’ father.  Yet another was about a boy who wants to escape his family’s horrible reputation.  While the project was not very good (even with the expectations placed upon us by our teacher and due to no fault of mine, at least), I was still inspired to hopefully do something better one day.

As a result of watching Desperate Housewives and thinking about our soap opera (if you hate real soap operas, you would prefer them to our attempt of one), I thought about a comedy-drama that was set in a school and focused on the teachers.  The teachers all had their own issues, many of which are not obvious to the students.  Over the past four-and-a-half years, I have imagined in my head various story lines (some of them are in my Master Idea List ).  Finally last year I began writing character profiles and episode story lines, and now, I will share the character profiles with  all of you.

Enjoy.

CHARACTERS

 

CLARICE MITCHELL

Clarice teaches psychology and sociology at South Side of Chicago High School (SSCHS) which is also where she attended high school.  She is a 25-year-old, tall, slender, voluptuous, and sexy black woman.  She is object of sex appeal of most of the males in the school, students and staff alike.  Clarice is also charming, vain, mean-spirited, ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and very intelligent.  She is good at manipulating people with her looks, her brains, and occasionally even both at the same time, but her skills are not foolproof; She rules the classroom, the PTA, and all of the extra-curricular activities she sponsors with an iron fist.  Clarice displays symptoms of various personality disorders such as sadistic personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, and antisocial personality disorder, though she as never been diagnosed with any of them; at times she takes pleasure in making lives miserable, and other times she does bad things for her own purposes without any regard as to how her action affect others.  She is often scheming to sabotage or enact revenge against colleagues, students, and parents.  For example, Clarice is livid when a student sexually harasses her and exposes himself to her; she is even more outraged when the boy’s parents stand by his denials.  After failing to get his peers to rat on him, she decides to have another talk to his parents; when that proves fruitless, Clarice plots to stage a fake child molestation cover-up scandal, implicating the boy’s father, though when her conspiracy is discovered she doesn’t go through with it.  However, occasionally Clarice will feel remorse when she finds that one of her schemes caused more damage than she intended or hurt people that she did not target, though often times she is remorseless when it comes to the collateral damage her schemes cause.

Her best friend is Jeannette Chan, one of the school’s guidance counselors.  Her other friend is history teacher Todd O’Guinness  Clarice generally only shows her nice side to Todd and Jeannette and is protective towards them; if someone tries to make their lives miserable she will return the favor tenfold.  Clarice is often mean to students and other teachers especially Michelle Slojinski, a shy substitute teacher, but over time, Clarice and Michelle learn to get along and even help one another.  Clarice’s love interest is Edmund Sanders.  When they were in high school, Clarice was the alpha female, while Edmund was the nerd/geek type.  Edmund had a crush on Clarice, but Clarice did not reciprocate, and in fact was mean to him.  Now that Edmund has recently began work as a math teacher at SSCHS, she has crush on him, and they begin what turns out to be a tenuous on-again, off-again relationship; she also tries to be a good girlfriend to him and will also not hesitate to hurt those who hurt him when she is aware of him being hurt.  Clarice has a rivalry of sorts with Lena Johnson, the principal of SSCHS.  Clarice was one of Lena’s students in high school; they generally never got along, and their rivalry continued when Clarice returned to SSCHS to teach.  Clarice is often trying to in some way sabotage Lena.  Clarice has a neutral relationship with Lena’s husband Keith who teaches English at SSCHS.

LENA JOHNSON

Lena Johnson is the principal of SSCHS and also an alumnus of the school.  She is of medium height, early 40s black, and attractive, though not the type of woman who could be seen as oozing sex appeal.

Lena has a rather dark back story and has lots of secrets.  In high school she was in an abusive relationship, she became pregnant, and although she wanted to keep her baby, her boyfriend forced her to sell him.  Since then Lena has been haunted and wondered what happened to her son; Later she would marry Keith Johnson a fellow English major at college.  They have four kids together whom they send to a private school.

Lena also has another event from her past that haunted her.  Her best friend Judith Anderson was murdered at the school.  Judith was also in an abusive relationship, but seemed to to be able to get away from her boyfriend and was about to graduate from SSCHS at the top of her class and attend Harvard.  Then Judith disappeared the day before graduation. Lena immediately knew that Judith’s boyfriend was responsible, but she couldn’t prove it.  Years later it would be discovered that Judith’s boyfriend pushed her down the stairs in view of a teacher.  He then threatened to kill the teacher if she wouldn’t help him hide the body.  They buried Judith on the school grounds.  The teacher had her hands tied because she couldn’t go to the police without implicating herself in covering up a murder.  Those events cause a huge emotional toll on Lena.

Lena has generally good relationships with the staff at SSCHS, but the one person she hates is Clarice Johnson, a former student of her’s and a current psychology and sociology teacher.  When Clarice was Lena’s student, they generally never got along because of Clarice’s personality as a mean girl.  In addition, she also made attempts in vain to in some way get Clarice in trouble, which failed.

Personality-wise, Lena is generally kind but firm.  She has a strong sense of wanting to be in control.  She trys to be a leader, but struggles with trying to fix every problem in the school that comes her way.  As a wife and mother Lena has a habit of letting work get in the way her family life, unlike Keith who is able to have time for work and family.  This leads to a strain in the marriage where they both become unfaithful to one another.

JEANNETTE CHAN

Jeannette is a guidance counselor at SSCHS.  She has a genuine desire to help people with their personal problems.  She is outwardly engaging and empathetic towards most of the people she meets.  Above all, she tries to help people in whatever shape or form she can, but struggles with people who don’t want her help and whom she can’t help.  Occasionally, she tries to help people in ways that are unethical or even illegal.  For example, she suspects a student is a victim of child abuse; she reports it to the DCFS as is her legal duty, but no charges are filed due to lack of evidence.  She thinks something is up so she investigates the DCFS and discovers that the student;s parents paid the social worker off.  However, she also has no proof of the bribery so she attempts to fight fire with fire and bribe the social worker.

TODD O’GUINNESS

Todd is a history teacher at SSCHS.  Having been working there for five years, he has established a style of teaching that he deems effective for both himself and his students.  He is a strict teacher and has high expectations for his students.  He starts every school year and school term requiring his students to hit the ground running.  Todd gives homework every night, gives difficult projects, and demands that students pay very close attention to detail.  He refuses to accept late assignments and dislikes tardiness to the point that he lobbied the school punish students who are tardy with detention the first time they are late.  Despite his strict nature, Todd is sometimes viewed “firm, but fair” teacher, but he regularly has conflicts with parents who take issue with his expectations, claiming that they are too strict and fail to take into account extenuating circumstances.  Todd all in all wants to be a good teacher and he very much wants his students to learn and understand history so that they can know and comprehend their presents and their futures and find where in the world they belong.

Todd has a rocky relationships with his family.  First, his father never approved of him becoming a teacher, and so he largely financed his college education without his parents’ help.  Second, Todd is viewed by his parents as being the least favorite child in his family.  Todd’s parents always treated his younger brother Liam better than him, lavishing all sorts of praise and attention on him.  Whenever Todd and Liam had a conflict his parents took Liam’s side.  Very often, Todd would do something and get his parents’ disapproval, but Liam would do the same thing and receive his parents’ undying support.  Case in point: Liam is now in college studying to be a teacher and his parents sacrificed very much to ensure that Liam can pursue his career goals.  Because of the favoritism, Liam has received, Todd works hard to make sure that his students are treated based on their own hard work and merits and not because he happens like one student better than all the others.

One of his students, Rose, however doesn’t want to follow his rules.  So she comes up with a plan.  Rose disguises herself as an adult and goes to bar where Todd frequents.  She strikes up a conversation, and they end up sleeping together.  Rose then reveals her true identity and blackmails him, threatening to reveal their sexual encounter to the police unless she does exactly what she wants:  She wants to pass the class with an A, be marked as on time even if she’s tardy, and be marked as present when she ditches class.  The demands become too much for Todd to deal with, so he plants knives in her locker.  The school has a zero tolerance policy for weapons, so Rose gets expelled.  Rose vows revenge.  Years later, the statute of limitations has expired and preventing Todd from being prosecuted.  Rose conspires with her younger sister Daisy who is now one of Todd’s students; they drug Todd so that Daisy can rape him.  Daisy then accuses Todd of raping her.  Todd’s friends must then find a clever way to get Rose and Daisy to admit to their conspiracy.

EDMUND SANDERS

Edmund is a new math teacher having graduated from college earlier that year.  He’s excited about returning to the school he graduated from and being able to give back.  Edmund wants to teach, but he also wants to be a cool teacher and make his students comfortable enough to come to him whenever they need help.  Due to being a new teacher and rather inexperienced, Edmund deals with being somewhat awkward towards his students, and struggles to find his place in the school as a competent teacher.  He has a long way to go.

Edmund is reunited with Clarice his former high school crush, and the eventually begin a romance.  He initially thinks that she has moved on from being the mean popular girls she once was.  For quite some time, Edmund is blind to how Clarice mistreats and manipulates those around her; he eventually gets wise to her behavior and after much consideration ends their relationship; he and Clarice would reconcile and break up several times more in the future.

KEITH JOHNSON

Keith is an English teacher at SSCHS and is Lena’s husband.  They first met in college, where they were both English majors.  They fell for each other instantly, married upon graduation, and had four children.  Keith is active as a mentor to his students and even towards other less-experienced teachers such as Edmund and Todd.  However, Keith’s other relationships are less successful.  Often, Lena and Keith lack time for each other.  Eventually, their lack of time for one another led to them both being unfaithful, and their marital strife led them to become out of touch with their children’s lives.

MICHELLE SLOJINSKI

Michelle is a shy substitute teacher.  She has had a rather traumatic upbringing.  The daughter of Polish immigrants, Michelle, was at first teased because she didn’t learn English until she began school, so for a while she couldn’t communicate with her classmates.  This led to her being isolated and ostracized from her peers and teased until she learned English.  Then she was teased for various reasons such as being shy, not having the most stylish clothes, and other things.  In high school, Michelle suffered depression due to being bullied and attempted suicide three times.

Now, Michelle is more mentally healthy, but still not ideal.  She still lives with her parents, as they worry about her ability to live alone.  In her work life, Michelle feels like she doesn’t belong.  She feels that as a substitute teacher, she is disrespected by other teachers who view her as being less important than regular teachers.  She is also often disrespected by students who mistreat her because she isn’t their regular teacher.  Eventually, she befriends Jeannette who teaches her to be more assertive and self-confident.

 

Ode to TV Tropes

One of my absolute favorite websites on the Internet is TV Tropes.  TV Tropes, whose full name is Television Tropes and Idioms, is a wiki that is devoted to cataloging various types of narrative devices, or tropes as they call them.  Despite its name, it not devoted solely to tropes from TV; it covers tropes from literature, film, music, comic books, video games legends, folklore, mythology, religion, the Internet and real life.

The site first began as a collection of tropes from the popular series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, in 2004.  In the nine years since, TV Tropes expand tremendously to all types of media.

I first began using the site regularly in about late 2010.  I was so entranced by it.  There was so much information on various shows and movies that I had never found anywhere else; it most certainly was not on Wikipedia (which TV Tropes calls “The Other Wiki”).  It was also a good place to learn about narrative tropes and help aid writers in developing plot occurrences and characters.  I am happy that it helped give me direction in the development of one of my characters, Riley Diamond I used the trope called Cloudcuckoolander, which denotes a character who is odd and seemingly out of touch with reality.  I’ve since used the site to help develop other tropes in my other ideas.

I cannot say enough good things about it.  However, I will point out that due to the fact that it is a wiki, and therefore, can be edited by anybody, it is not suitable for academic research for essays and the like, just like Wikipedia.  Not to mention, it has very few sources, and therefore, it has almost no verification of the information listed.  However, much of the information can be confirmed by viewing or reading the media discussed.

However, the main strength of TV Tropes is its community of lovers of all type of media and wealth of perspectives.

I plan on devoting several future posts to various tropes listed on TV Tropes, but for now, I will briefly discuss a few of my favorite entries.

Your Mileage May Vary or YMMV

This focuses on tropes that are subjective.  They may involve differences of opinions on characters such as whether a character is unlikable or whether a plot element is weak or strong.

Designated Heroes and Designated Villains

These are YMMV tropes.  They refer to characters who are intended by the writers to be heroes or villains but who are perceived as unlikable or even villainous in the cases of designated heroes or likable, sympathetic, and even heroic in the cases of designated villains.  This often happens because writers do not realize that they are making their heroes unlikable or their villains likable.

Cloudcukoolander

As mentioned above, this a character who does odd things, and who seems to have his or her head in the clouds, so to speak.

Alpha Bitch

This character is mean girl of the school.  She does everything to assert her popularity and make the lives of the so-called unpopular kids a living hell.

What an Idiot

Another YMMV trope, this refers to characters who something that causes the audience or reader to think or say “What an Idiot.”  Many of examples listed on the site are structures as follows.

Situation

You’d Expect:

Instead:

Non Singing Voice

This refers to a phenomena that has mostly died out in musical films where if the actors did not have suitable singing voices, either in general or for the material at hand, then professional singer would record their musical numbers, and it is the singer’s voice, not the actor’s voice, heard during the musical numbers.  Occasionally, as in the film versions of the musicals West Side Story, The Sound of Music, and My Fair Lady, certain actors sang their songs only to have them re-recorded by more skilled skilled singers.  This has also happened in various animated musical films of the 1990s, particularly those done by Disney.

The Completed First Draft of My Very First Screenplay

Months later, I decided to return to my screenplay.  I knew that I would have to make some changed, but first, I felt that I should complete it, or at least complete as much as possible.  I made some revisions, shared it online in order to get feedback, made more revisions, and then I finally completed the first draft.

Here the first incomplete draft that I shared.

INT. RILEY’S HOUSE – NIGHT
RILEY DIAMOND walks into her bedroom wearing a bathrobe and
shower cap. She goes into her drawers and picks up some
clothes. She sees looks at a pair of her socks, drops the
rest of her clothing and storms into her brother ZEKE
DIAMOND’s room. Zeke is sitting at his computer. Riley
turns his chair around and show him her sock.
RILEY
What is this?
ZEKE
A sock.
RILEY
(agitated)
Don’t play dumb! What is this
stain on my sock?!
ZEKE
I thought it was mine. Then I
realized it wasn’t, but it was so
soft I kept on…
RILEY
(in a disgusted voice,
yelling)
Stop! Why would you do that?
ZEKE
It was an accident. Stop being a
drama queen.
RILEY
But the socks were very special to
me, and I spent a lot of money for
them.
ZEKE
Well, it was stupid to buy socks
for 200 dollars.
RILEY
You didn’t see the woman who sold
them to me. Her boyfriend got her
pregnant and left her four times.
She was broke and desperate. I
wanted to do what I could to help.
Zeke looks at Riley like she is stupid and oblivious.
RILEY (CONT’D)
But anyway, that doesn’t change how
I feel. Use your own socks or
articles of clothing next time.
Riley stomps out of the room crying and yelling and slams
Zeke’s door.
INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY – THE NEXT MORNING
Riley is wearing a back pack and standing at her locker
opening it frowning when her best friend MARISSA NOGALES
walks up to her.
MARISSA
Hey, Riley! What’s up?
RILEY
(in a sad voice)
My brother that’s what’s up!
MARISSA
(concerned)
What did Zeke do?
RILEY
Riley opens her backpack, and pulls out a large Ziploc bag
with a white sock in it.
He ruined my sock!
MARISSA
How?
Riley shoves the plastic bag into Marissa’s face.
RILEY
Look very closely.
Marissa scrunches her eyes and face while looking at the sock
through the bag.
MARISSA
I see a yellow stain. What is
that? Mustard? Paint?
RILEY
Let’s just say that my brother did
something to please himself.
MARISSA
Gross!
RILEY
I know! It was so special to me.
When that lady sold it to me, I
loved how I was able to help ease
her pain and help her feed her
children. And now every time I
look at I imagine what Zeke and
that lady’s love child would look
like
Riley shudders.
MARISSA
Have you talked to him?
RILEY
Well, no. I mean, I kind of just
yelled and cried and stomped and
acted like a huge baby. Maybe I
should talk to Zeke again.
MARISSA
I’m just glad my brothers don’t use
socks.
RILEY
How would you know such a thing?
Marissa shudders.
MARISSA
Let’s just drop it okay.
INT. RILEY’S HOUSE – LATER THAT AFTERNOON
Riley is sitting on the sofa in her living while on her
laptop. Zeke walks into the living room.
RILEY
Hi, Zeke!
ZEKE
(feeling despondent)
Hi, Riley.
Riley stands up and walks to Zeke.
RILEY
I just wanted to say I’m sorry.
About last night, I mean.
ZEKE
Apology accepted.
Zeke tried to walk around Riley, but she stops him
RILEY
Hey, hey, hey, wait. You’re
supposed to apologize to me too.
ZEKE
Yeah…not gonna happen.
RILEY
(yelling)
But that’s not fair you knew that
was my favorite sock!
ZEKE
I didn’t know it at the time!
RILEY
Well, you should have!
ZEKE
I’m not about the apologize for
ruining a cheap-ass sock that you
were scammed into buying. Excuse
me, I gotta work on my English
essay.
Zeke walks away to his room. Riley who is furious walks to
the bathroom, and she picks up his blue electric toothbrush.
RILEY
I guess, I shall fight fire with
fire.
Riley closes the bathroom door, and the sound of herself
brushing her teeth can be heard.
INT. RILEY’S HOUSE – THE NEXT MORNING
Riley walks past the bathroom where Zeke is brushing his
teeth. She starts to chuckle. Zeke spits out his
toothpaste.
ZEKE
What’s so funny?
RILEY
(laughing)
Nothing. Just felt like havin’ a
good laugh. Sometimes when
everything seems bad laughing for
no reason can help.
ZEKE
(feeling as though Riley
is just being her usual
oddball self)
Whatever.
Riley walks downstairs.
INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY – LATER THAT DAY
Riley is walking to class when her phones rings. She has a
text message from her ex-boyfriend KENDALL LEWIS. Riley gets
overly excited and oblivious to the fact that other students
in the hall are staring at her with bewilderment, she reads
the message. It says: “Meet me for lunch. I need to tell you
something.” Riley squeals in an expression of excessive
excitement.
Riley runs down the hall to Marissa’s locker.
RILEY
Marissa, I’ve got great news.
Kendall wants to talk.
MARISSA
That’s great, girl.
RILEY
Maybe he wants to get back
together. Oh my god, I have to get
ready. Anyways, I gotta go to
class, I’ll tell you all about it
after school. Bye.
MARISSA
I’ll see you! Good luck!
Riley runs off to class.
INT. SCHOOL CAFETERIA – AFTERNOON
Riley walks around the cafeteria to the table where her exboyfriend
KENDALL LEWIS is sitting.
KENDALL
Riley!
RILEY
Kendall! Hi.
KENDALL
So…how’s it goin’
RILEY
I’ve been fine. I had an issue
with by little brother, but I’ve
taken care of it.
Riley sits down next to Kendall and moves very close to him
in an amorous manner.
RILEY (CONT’D)
(speaking in a low,
somewhat seductive voice)
So what was it you wanted to talk
to me about?
KENDALL
Well….this is kinda hard to
say…well….um….I went to
the….doctor yesterday, and um she
told me that I might mono.
RILEY
(screaming)
WHAT?!
KENDALL
I just thought that I should tell
you that….just So that you would
know and check yourself.
Riley starts to feel sad.
RILEY
Oh my god! I have to go!
Riley runs out of the cafeteria crying.
INT. RILEY’S BEDROOM
Marissa is comforting Riley after the revelation that Kendall
gave her.
RILEY
(crying)
I can’t believe I might have mono!
MARISSA
Look, Riley, calm down. You gotta
keep your head up. You might not
have mono, and besides, it very
treatable anyways.
RILEY
I know its just, I feel so dirty.
Like I’m a horrible person.
Riley suddenly remembers something
RILEY (CONT’D)
Oh, my god! Oh my god! Oh my god! I
AM a horrible person.
MARISSA
Look, its not your fault!
RILEY
No! I might have given it to Zeke.
MARISSA
I’m confused.
RILEY
The other night, I was still mad at
him for ruining my favorite sock!
So I got revenge! I brushed my
teeth with his toothbrush.
MARISSA
There…are just no words.
RILEY
I know! Now what do I do?!
MARISSA
You gotta come clean.
RILEY
(feeling hesitant)
Okay. Zeke can you come here?!
Zeke walks into Riley’s bedroom.
ZEKE
What?
RILEY
You remember the whole thing with
you and my favorite sock and how
you did apologize?
ZEKE
(confused)
Yeah?
Well, I thought that you needed to
be punished. So I brushed my teeth
with your toothbrush.
Zeke gags in disgust.
RILEY (CONT’D)
Wait, there’s more. Kendall, you
know my ex, told me that he might
have mono so I might’ve given it to
you.
ZEKE
OK, now I gotta lay down!
MARISSA
Look, Zeke, we don’t know for sure
yet.
ZEKE
That don’t matter! That’s just
nasty!

Here is the second incomplete draft:
INT. RILEY’S HOUSE – NIGHT
RILEY DIAMOND walks into her bedroom wearing pajamas. She
opens her laptop computer, types in her password, screams,
looks disturbed, picks up her laptop, and storms out in to
her younger brother ZEKE DIAMOND’s bedroom where he is on
his own computer.
RILEY
What the hell’s this?
ZEKE
Ah, yeah! I went to that site
before I got my computer back
today.
RILEY
(agitated) Oh my god! That’s
gross! Why would you use my
computer and without askin’!
ZEKE
I just couldn’t weight any longer
for them to fix my computer.
RILEY
(in a disgusted voice,
yelling) You tainted my
computer
ZEKE
Stop bein’ a drama queen. Just
delete the history.
RILEY
That’s not the point! You don’t use
my computer without asking! And
especially not to look at nasty
stuff! Riley slams her laptop shut,
stomps out of the room, crying and
yelling, and slams Zeke’s door.
INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY – THE NEXT MORNING
Riley is wearing a back pack and standing at her locker
opening it frowning when her best friend MARISSA NOGALES
walks up to her.
MARISSA
Hey, Riley! What’s up?
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 2.
RILEY
(in a sad voice) My brother
that’s what’s up!
MARISSA
(concerned) What did Zeke do?
RILEY
He used my laptop without asking!
And he left a surprise
MARISSA
What do you mean?
RILEY
Come with me. Riley and Marissa
walk to the girl’s bathroom and go
into a stall. Riley then takes her
laptop out of her backpack, opens
it types in her password, and shows
it to Marissa.
RILEY (CONT’D)
Look very closely. Marissa looks
disturbed.
MARISSA
That’s gross! Marissa looks
confused.
MARISSA (CONT’D)
And painful. Can you really do
that? Riley closes her laptop.
RILEY
I can’t believe he did that. I wish
I could unsee things. Why do boys
have to be so perverted? Riley
growls in aggravation.
MARISSA
Look girl. Just talk to him be
firm.
RILEY
Well, when I found out I kinda
acted like a big baby. I feel dumb.
MARISSA
Just sit Zeke down. Be nice.
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 3.
RILEY
Okay. I’ll do that.
INT. RILEY’S HOUSE – LATER THAT AFTERNOON
Riley is sitting on the sofa in her living while on her
laptop. Zeke walks into the living room.
RILEY
(cheeful) Hi, Zeke!
ZEKE
(feeling despondent) Hi,
Riley. Riley stands up and
walks to Zeke.
RILEY
I just wanted to say I’m sorry.
About last night, I mean.
ZEKE
Apology accepted. Zeke tries to
walk around Riley, but she stops
him.
RILEY
Hey, hey, hey, wait. You’re
supposed to apologize to me too.
ZEKE
Yeah…not gonna happen. Zeke once
again tries to walk around Riley,
and she once again stops him.
RILEY
(yelling) But that’s not fair.
You used my laptop without
asking.
ZEKE
So! All you gotta do is just erase
the history!
RILE
You should’ve done that! In fact,
don’t use my laptop without
permission!
ZEKE
I’m not about the apologize for
making you see somethin’ that you
see in the girls’ locker room
(MORE)
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 4.
ZEKE (cont’d)
everyday. Now excuse me. I gotta
work on my English essay.
Zeke walks around Riley away to his room. Riley who is
furious walks to the bathroom, and she picks up his blue
electric toothbrush.
RILEY
I guess, I shall fight fire with
fire. Riley closes the bathroom
door, and the sound of herself
brushing her teeth can be heard.
INT. RILEY’S HOUSE – THE NEXT MORNING
Riley walks past the bathroom where Zeke is brushing his
teeth. She starts to chuckle. Zeke spits out his toothpaste.
ZEKE
What’s so funny?
RILEY
(laughing) Nothing. Just felt
like havin’ a good laugh.
Sometimes when everything
seems bad laughing for no
reason can help.
ZEKE
(feeling as though Riley is
just being her usual oddball
self) Whatever. Riley walks
downstairs.
INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY – LATER THAT DAY
Riley is walking to class when her phones rings. She has a
text message from her ex-boyfriend KENDALL LEWIS. Riley gets
overly excited and oblivious to the fact that other students
in the hall are staring at her with bewilderment, she reads
the message. It says: “Meet me for lunch. I need to tell you
something.” Riley squeals in an expression of excessive
excitement. Riley runs down the hall to Marissa’s locker.
RILEY
Marissa, I’ve got great news.
Kendall wants to talk.
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 5.
MARISSA
That’s great, girl.
RILEY
Maybe he wants to get back
together. Oh my god, I have to get
ready. Anyways, I gotta go to
class, I’ll tell you all about it
after school. Bye.
MARISSA
I’ll see you! Good luck! Riley runs
off to class.
INT. SCHOOL CAFETERIA – AFTERNOON
Riley walks around the cafeteria to the table where her
ex-boyfriend KENDALL LEWIS is sitting.
KENDALL
Riley!
RILEY
Kendall! Hi.
KENDALL
So…how’s it goin’
RILEY
I’ve been fine. I had an issue with
by little brother, but I’ve taken
care of it. Riley sits down next to
Kendall and moves very close to him
in an amorous manner.
RILEY (CONT’D)
(speaking in a low, somewhat
seductive voice) So what was
it you wanted to talk to me
about?
KENDALL
Well….this is kinda hard to
say…well….um….I went to
the….doctor yesterday, and um she
told me that I might mono.
RILEY
(screaming)
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 6.
WHAT?! KENDALL
I just thought that I should tell
you that….just So that you would
know and check yourself. Riley
starts to feel sad.
RILEY
Oh my god! I have to go! Riley runs
out of the cafeteria crying.
INT. RILEY’S BEDROOM
Marissa is comforting Riley.
RILEY
(crying) I can’t believe I
might have mono!
MARISSA
Look, Riley, calm down. You gotta
keep your head up. You might not
have mono, and besides, it very
treatable anyways.
RILEY
I know its just, I feel so dirty.
Like I’m a horrible person. Riley
suddenly remembers something
RILEY (CONT’D)
Oh, my god! Oh my god! Oh my god! I
AM a horrible person.
MARISSA
Look, its not your fault!
RILEY
No! I might have given it to Zeke.
MARISSA
I’m confused.
RILEY
The other night, I was still mad at
him for ruining my favorite sock!
So I got revenge! I brushed my
teeth with his toothbrush.
MARISSA
There…are just no words.
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 7.
RILEY
I know! Now what do I do?!
MARISSA
You gotta come clean.
RILEY
(feeling hesitant) Okay. Zeke
can you come here?! Zeke walks
into Riley’s bedroom.
ZEKE
What?
RILEY
You remember the whole thing with
you looking at porn on my laptop?
ZEKE
(confused) Yeah?
RILEY
Well, I thought that you needed to
be punished. So I brushed my teeth
with your toothbrush. Zeke gags in
disgust.
RILEY (CONT’D)
Wait, there’s more. Kendall, you
know my ex, told me that he might
have mono so I might’ve given it to
you.
ZEKE
OK, now I gotta lay down!
MARISSA
Look, Zeke, we don’t know for sure
yet.
ZEKE
That don’t matter! That’s just
nasty!

And here is the completed first draft:

INT. RILEY’S HOUSE – NIGHT
RILEY DIAMOND walks into her bedroom wearing pajamas. She
opens her laptop computer, types in her password, screams,
looks disturbed, picks up her laptop, and storms out in to
her younger brother ZEKE DIAMOND’S bedroom where he at his
desk and is on his own computer. She turns his chair and
shows him her laptop.
RILEY
What the hell’s this?
ZEKE
Ah, yeah! I went to that site
before I got my computer back
today.
RILEY
(agitated)
Oh my god! That’s gross! Why
would you use my computer and
without askin’!
ZEKE
I just couldn’t weight any longer
for them to fix my computer.
RILEY
(disgusted)
You tainted my computer!
ZEKE
Stop bein’ a drama queen. Just
delete the history.
RILEY
That’s not the point! You don’t use
my computer without asking! And
especially not to look at nasty
stuff!
Riley slams her laptop shut, stomps out of the room, crying
and yelling, and slams Zeke’s door.
INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY – THE NEXT MORNING
Riley is wearing a back pack and standing at her locker
opening it frowning when her best friend MARISSA NOGALES
walks up to her.
MARISSA
Hey, Riley! What’s up?
RILEY
(frustrated)
My brother that’s what’s up!
MARISSA
(concerned)
What did Zeke do?
RILEY
He used my laptop without asking!
And he left a surprise
MARISSA
What do you mean?
RILEY
Come with me.
Riley and Marissa walk to the girl’s bathroom and go into a
stall. Riley then takes her laptop out of her backpack,
opens it types in her password, and shows it to Marissa.
RILEY (CONT’D)
Look very closely.
Marissa looks disturbed.
MARISSA
That’s gross!
Marissa looks confused.
MARISSA (CONT’D)
And painful. Can you really do
that?
Riley closes her laptop.
RILEY
I can’t believe he did that. I
wish I could unsee things. Why do
boys have to be so perverted?
Riley growls in aggravation.
MARISSA
Look girl. Just talk to him be
firm.
RILEY
Well, when I found out I kinda
acted like a big baby. I feel
dumb.
MARISSA
Just sit Zeke down. Be nice.
RILEY
Okay. I’ll do that.
INT. RILEY’S HOUSE – LATER THAT AFTERNOON
Riley is sitting on the sofa in her living while on her
laptop. Zeke walks into the living room.
RILEY
(cheeful)
Hi, Zeke!
ZEKE
(feeling despondent)
Hi, Riley.
Riley stands up and walks to Zeke.
RILEY
I just wanted to say I’m sorry.
About last night, I mean.
ZEKE
Apology accepted.
Zeke tries to walk around Riley, but she stops him.
RILEY
Hey, hey, hey, wait. You’re
supposed to apologize to me too.
ZEKE
Yeah…not gonna happen.
Zeke once again tries to walk around Riley, and she once
again stops him.
RILEY
(yelling)
But that’s not fair. You used my
laptop without asking.
ZEKE
So! All you gotta do is just erase
the history!
RILE
You should’ve done that! In fact,
don’t use my laptop without
permission!
ZEKE
I’m not about the apologize for
making you see somethin’ that you
see in the girls’ locker room
everyday. Now excuse me. I gotta
work on my English essay.
Zeke walks around Riley away to his room. Riley who is
furious walks to the bathroom, and she picks up his blue
electric toothbrush.
RILEY
I guess, I shall fight fire with
fire. Good thing Zeke always
sanitizes his toothbrush.
Riley closes the bathroom door, and the sound of herself
brushing her teeth can be heard.
INT. RILEY’S HOUSE – THE NEXT MORNING
Riley walks past the bathroom where Zeke is brushing his
teeth. She starts to chuckle. Zeke spits out his
toothpaste.
ZEKE
What’s so funny?
RILEY
(laughing)
Nothing. Just felt like havin’ a
good laugh. Sometimes when
everything seems bad laughing for
no reason can help.
ZEKE
(feeling as though Riley
is just being weird)
Whatever.
Riley walks downstairs.
INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY – LATER THAT DAY
Riley is walking to class when her phones rings. She has a
text message from her ex-boyfriend KENDALL LEWIS. Riley
gets overly excited and oblivious to the fact that other
students in the hall are staring at her with bewilderment,
she reads the message. It says: “Meet me for lunch. I need
to tell you something.” Riley squeals in an expression of
excessive excitement.
Riley runs down the hall to Marissa’s locker.
RILEY
Marissa, I’ve got great news.
Kendall wants to talk.
MARISSA
That’s great, girl.
RILEY
Maybe he wants to get back
together. Oh my god, I have to get
ready. Anyways, I gotta go to
class, I’ll tell you all about it
after school. Bye.
MARISSA
I’ll see you! Good luck!
Riley runs off to class.
INT. SCHOOL CAFETERIA – AFTERNOON
Riley walks around the cafeteria to the table where her
ex-boyfriend KENDALL LEWIS is sitting.
KENDALL
Riley!
RILEY
Kendall! Hi.
KENDALL
So…how’s it goin’
RILEY
I’ve been fine. I had an issue
with by little brother, but I’ve
taken care of it.
Riley sits down next to Kendall and moves very close to him
in an amorous manner.
RILEY (CONT’D)
(speaking in a low,
somewhat seductive voice)
(MORE)
So what was it you wanted to talk
RILEY (CONT’D) (CONT’D)
to me about?
KENDALL
Well….this is kinda hard to
say…well….um….I went to
the….doctor yesterday, and um she
told me that I might mono.
RILEY
(screaming)
WHAT?!
KENDALL
I just thought that I should tell
you that….just So that you would
know and check yourself.
Riley starts to feel sad.
RILEY
Oh my god! I have to go!
Riley runs out of the cafeteria crying.
INT. RILEY’S BEDROOM
Marissa is comforting Riley.
RILEY
(crying)
I can’t believe I might have mono!
MARISSA
Look, Riley, calm down. You gotta
keep your head up. You might not
have mono, and besides, it very
treatable anyways.
RILEY
I know its just, I feel so dirty.
Like I’m a horrible person.
Riley suddenly remembers something
RILEY (CONT’D)
Oh, my god! Oh my god! Oh my god! I
AM a horrible person.
MARISSA
Look, its not your fault!
RILEY
No! I might have given it to Zeke.
MARISSA
I’m confused.
RILEY
The other night, I was still mad at
him for ruining my favorite sock!
So I got revenge! I brushed my
teeth with his toothbrush.
MARISSA
There…are just no words.
RILEY
I know! Now what do I do?!
MARISSA
You gotta come clean.
RILEY
(feeling hesitant)
Okay. Zeke can you come here?!
Zeke walks into Riley’s bedroom.
ZEKE
What?
RILEY
You remember the whole thing with
you looking at porn on my laptop?
ZEKE
(confused)
Yeah?
RILEY
Well, I thought that you needed to
be punished. So I brushed my teeth
with your toothbrush.
Zeke gags in disgust.
RILEY (CONT’D)
Wait, there’s more. Kendall, you
know my ex, told me that he might
have mono so I might’ve given it to
you.
ZEKE
OK, now I gotta lay down!
MARISSA
Look, Zeke, we don’t know for sure
yet.
ZEKE
That don’t matter! That’s just
nasty!
RILEY
Look, Zeke, I’m sorry. I didn’t
mean for this to happen. But you
really hurt me.
ZEKE
Well, I guess was a douchebag. I’m
sorry Riley,
RILEY
I’m sorry, too.
Riley and Zeke hug.
INT. RILEY’S HOUSE – THE NEXT WEEK
Zeke is in his bedroom on his computer, when Riley suddenly
walks in. He immediately turns around.
ZEKE
(nervous)
Hi, Riley.
RILEY
I’ve got great news!
ZEKE
(nervous)
What’s that?
RILEY
Mom just got off the phone with the
doctor! We don’t have mono!
ZEKE
Yeah, that’s great! But, uh, I was
kinda in the middle of something.
RILEY
In the middle of what?
Riley all of a sudden looks disturbed when she sees Zeke’s
computer screen.
RILEY (CONT’D)
I think I know what it is. I’ll
leave you to it.
Riley runs out of the room, and Zeke smirks to himself.

 

The First Thing I Wrote Involving My Characters from the The Eccentrics

I began this short film sometime in early 2011.  Maybe it was about February or March.  I don’t know.  I don’t remember  And I suppose that does not really matter in the grand scheme of things.  As I have said before, I had been thinking about The Eccentrics since the fall of 2007.  However, other than some episode titles, I had never written down any stories for them.  They were all stored in my brain.  At that time in early 2011, I finally wrote down one episode idea.  It involved Riley and her brother Zeke and a conflict between the two of them.  However, it was incomplete.  I had only written the first scene.  I knew that I had not yet developed everything enough to write a full episode.  Therefore, I just wrote that draft the best I could.

Many months later, I shared this on the forum.  I received a rather poor response.  One was that it was hilariously awful.  Another comment was that the dialogue was too unrealistic.  One was that the entire premise was too implausible.  All of that really distressed me.

A couple of months later, I made a forum post about how I find it so hard to make a story plausible enough to allow for willing suspension of disbelief; I felt that having to stay within the bounds of reality was stifling to the creative processes, and that doing so was so frustrating that I felt that I should steal people’s life stories, so that I can guarantee that the story is realistic.  Other forum users responded.  One person said that it seems as though I can’t decided whether I want the story to be plausible or not and the MacGuffin, if it can be called that, of the story was implausible along with the dialogue.  I re-posted my screenplay as well as the entire summary of planned storyline for it and I asked for advice and asked the user how he would have written the story.  He said that there was no way to fix the plot because of the MacGuffin.  I got the idea that he felt my screenplay was devoid of substance and that I didn’t see; he said that he never said it had no substance, though in my mind at least, if a story can’t be improved, then it has nothing of value.  Another user then basically broke down party by part what I had completed of the story, saying that the dialogue was vapid, choppy and old-fashioned; that Riley’s actions were implausible; and that the story had undeveloped characters and huge plot holes.  Another person suggested advice that I should use contractions in my dialogue; he also said that my MacGuffin was poor, which echoed the rest of the sentiment concerning the MacGuffin and that I should change it.

I decided to finish the story and change the dialogue to make it more realistic, but in the meantime, I will share with all of you my summary and that draft that I had shared with that forum.  I hope you can recognize the MacGuffin, if it can be called that, and everything that was wrong with this incomplete first draft.

A girl is upset that her brother used her socks to masturbate with. Later on as he accuses her of making too big of a deal about it, she decides to get revenge by using his electric toothbrush to masturbate with. Later her ex-boyfriend tells her that he thinks he has an STD and that she should get herself checked. All of a sudden she begins to feel guilty about the possibility that she exposed her own brother to an STD. Then her brother starts complaining of symptoms and she feels worse. She confesses what she did. Then her brother reveals that he heard her using his toothbrush, and also overheard her telling her friend about possibly having an STD. He lied about having symptoms to teach her a lesson. Then she goes to the doctor and finds that she has no STD and is also told that STDs cannot be spread via toothbrushes as the bacteria cannot survive outside the body.

INT. RILEY’S HOUSE – NIGHT

Riley walks into her bedroom wearing a bathrobe and shower cap. She goes into her drawers and picks up some clothes. She sees looks at a pair of her socks, drops the rest of her clothing and storms into her brother Zeke’s room. Zeke is sitting at his computer. Riley turns his chair around and show him her sock.
RILEY
What is this?
ZEKE
A sock.
RILEY
Don’t play dumb? What is this stain on my sock.
ZEKE
I thought it was mine. Then I realized it wasn’t, but it was so soft I kept on…
RILEY
Say no more! That is so gross. Now my sock is ruined and I spent a lot of money from them.
ZEKE
Well, it was stupid to buy socks for 200 dollars.
RILEY
You didn’t see the woman who sold them to me. Her boyfriend got her pregnant and left her four times. She was broke and desperate. But anyway, that doesn’t change how I feel. Use your own socks or articles of clothing next time.
Riley walks out of the room