Hello my cheeky friends!
Thank you so much for the Premises you’ve been sending in for your stories. What is with all the unicorns? A veritable herd of unicorns have been sent my way. They’ve been prodding me with their horns, and whinnying through my subconscious. (Clearly unicorns are in the air, my friends, which tells me this: someone is going to make a fortune with a unicorn story. Perhaps it could be you).
Meanwhile we’re all dreaming of fortunes in the Clover house, after the Big News…
We were visited by Paul McKenzie this week, who produces comedies and kids’ shows on TV (he’s done Hetty Feather, and Sadie J, and Boys Meets Girl, and oh, just, everything). I was laughing about my favourite premise of the week, which came from my gorgeous daughter Cassady (13) who sent me…
“My premise is about a boy called Rory, who really really really wants to be a detective, because he’s seen a lot of Sherlock. Only problem is: he’s actually not clever or brilliant at all. He has a Sherlock coat, but it’s just a cagoule. And you know when Sherlock goes into his Thought Palace, and words go across the screen, saying things like “radioactive”, and “weapon activation”? Rory does that, but the words say things like “I need a wee” and “jam”. And everyone tries to stop him being a detective. But then a dinner lady at the school gets murdered, and Rory is determined to figure out who did it. And he keeps sneaking back into the school, until finally he finds a real actual murderer, and then he defeats him, by making a big bomb using a Bunsen Burner and a locust tank, and then he escapes out of the window, onto a trampoline...”
I just loved this premise, which gives you several of the important things in a Premise: ( 1) what the hero wants, (2) what problems they have, and (3) what methods they use.
And Paul liked the premise too. And he said: “Why don’t you try writing a script and I’ll take it to CBBC?” So now an actual commission has come from this writing school. Only problem, I had to offer Cassady (1) 50% of the first script fee (when it comes) (2) had to promise a character in the show called Cassady and (3) a trip to see Rocky Horror Picture Show (playing tonight at the Marlowe Theatre). This sort of thing could happen to you. Get writing!
In the meantime, Paul has now set the next task for the school. He has challenged me – as I challenge you – to write up Character Breakdowns for the characters. Character Breakdowns are the most fun things to write. You just describe characters who might turn up into your story, saying things like (1) how they help / stop your hero, (2) what they want, (3) what is unusual about them, (4) what habits do they have?
I’m going to start off with the character of Cassady, who will be obsessed with dancing. And maybe Rory likes to spy on her. Oh yes… I’m going to enjoy this challenge. Hope you do too.