This exercise is simply called “Two People Locked in a Room” and it’s the most basic scene you can get, at least at first. Very much like an improvisational scene, the challenge here is to start with nothing and let the story emerge in the dialogue. You want to start small and add details as you need them.
First off, start with two people. It can be two men, two women, or a man and a woman. Then put them in an empty room. The only rule is that neither of them can leave. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they are physically locked in the room, it’s just a rule for you to follow so you don’t try to find an easy way out of the scene.
Everything else is fair game.
Now start free writing a dialogue between them. As you write, you want to try and answer the simple “who, what, where” questions and try to do so in the first ten lines of dialogue:
1. What are their names?
2. What is the relationship between the characters? Are they brother, sisters, co workers, parent and child, spies, executioner and executionee or something else?
3. What kind of room are they in? In a kitchen? A jail cell? A cabin on a boat? How can they interact with the environment?
4. What is their emotional state? Is one sad and the other happy? Both sad? One scared? One angry? As in improv, it is best to give them each an emotional state to help charge the situation.
Once you have discovered the answers to these questions, it’s time to get to the heart of the scene and find out “Why are they here and what do they want?” Just let this come out as you write and reveal itself through the dialogue. Once you discover this you will have a scene. I would suggest free writing like this for 15 to 20 minutes, then stopping and examining what you have. I’m guessing you will have at least something in there that will make a great scene.
So, in this case, what you are doing is exploring and allowing yourself to overwrite your scene. The next draft will involve putting on your editor hat and chipping away everything that's not the scene.
And here's my addition - I forbid you (FORBID, I say!) from writing a scene in an elevator that breaks down or from a scene on a rooftop or in a meat locker or basement or anywhere the door slams shut and is locked. Why? Well, we've all seen it before and it forces you to explore more compelling reasons for two people to have to engage with one another.
Woo-hoo! The Reader looooooooooooves us! Click on the picture to enlarge it.
THE BS NEWS QUIZ OF THE DAY
Yesterday, I asked...
24% guessed "Pharmacies to give out free Viagra"
"To help boost the birth rate in Russia, the governor of Ulyanovsk is urging what?"
- Nope. No only blue pills they take are the ones that help them forget and keep them in the Russian matrix.
15% picked "Police to blast Barry White music over loudspeakers"
- Yeah, baby. I love the way you answered that sexy question. (I'm typing this in a very deep voice.)It's not right, though.
10% answered "TV stations to broadcast porn"
- Mmmm, Russian porn. "Did somebody order the borscht?" Boom-chicka-bawm-da-la-da-di-da-HEY!
According to Rueters, the governor urged couples to skip work on Wednesday and make love instead to help boost 's low birth-rate.And if you're little bundle of potatoes is born on June 12th, Russia's National Holiday, the lucky couple wins a prize, like a television or a refrigerator. Russia wants to reverse a trend in which the population is shrinking by about 700,000 people a year as births fail to outpace a high death rate boosted by , alcoholism and suicide. Yeah, winning a television will help turn that around.