"Midnight to 4 a.m.", a Writing Exercise

All you disgruntled, embittered writers at the bar, this one's for you.

When I first began my "Underappreciated Actress" series, I mentioned that as an author, I sometimes write as though I know my work is going to become a TV show or a film.  This means composing a highly organized plot which delivers as much information as humanly possible in a short amount of time.  And imagining who'd I like to play what.

To practice, I like to do writing exercises, composing entire works I know I'll never publish, just to get my flow down.  I invite my fellow scribblers at the bar to do one with me.

Here are your players:

Bianca Lawson
Jana Mashonee
Michelle Krusiec
Sujata Day
This is your playing field:

video


Here's your primary soundtrack:

Fallon Bowman
Skye
Jana Mashonee
Masia One

And here are your crucial questions:
1) What are their names?

2) What are their individual backstories?

3) How did they meet?

4) Why are they friends?

5) Do they live together or apart?  Why?

6) Where is their story set?

7) What's their genre?

8) What would be the plot of the very first ep?

9) What would be the theme of the first season? 

Comments

  1. 1) What are their names?

    Bianca Lawson As: Michelle Young

    Michelle Krusiec: Natasha Middlegove

    Jana Mashonee: Charlotte "Charlie" Tyler

    Sujata Day: Ainee Patel

    2) What are their individual backstories?
    Michelle Young: A hard working lawley with a small firm that specialize in juvenile cases. In the courtroom, she is very tactful and intelligent so much that she is given a Nickname The Countess. Lives with her mother who is a retired judge.

    Natasha Middlegove: A high school English teacher. Loud and outspoken, not afraid to put the toughest students in their place. Even the superintendent respect her. Owns a 1948 Nash Super 600.

    Charlotte "Charlie" Tyler: Natasha best friend. Owns a comic book store/cafe. She is a comicbook fan and a gamer. She is very nice and sweet, but never get on her bad side. Friends with most of Natasha's students.

    Ainee Patel: A former police officer and mystery writer that frequents Carlie's store. Always loves a challenge and is always bored. Sometimes helps Michelle with her cases. Suffers from high blood sugar, but eats sweets despite her doctors warnings. Get's hyper very easily.

    3) How did they meet?
    Friends since grade school. They always hanged out with each other. The formed something like a Hakama (family) bond. They will get on each others nerves at times.

    4) Why are they friends?
    Back in grade school the formed a intellect club with just the four of them. Since them they have been friends. They sometimes solve mysteries within the school.

    5) Do they live together or apart? Nope Why? Bad enough that they hang together. Also a running joke Michelle's mom really thinks that her friends are annoying or "goofy-ass".

    6) Where is their story set? A small town in North Eastern New Jersey.

    7) What's their genre?
    Well it's a buddy mystery show. Think Law and order meets Lethal Weapon and Monk.

    8) What would be the plot of the very first ep?
    A teacher was murder in a locked classroom during the prom. A male student was framed. So Michelle and the others have to solve the mystery before the murderer get's away. (I know standard who done it plot)

    9) What would be the theme of the first season?

    Well, I'm following a typical manga approach. The season or Arc should be about the four friends going up against the a think tank that involves the deputy mayor and few people in the education field.

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  2. I'm on vacay right now, but you know I'm jumping on this with both feet. Give me a little time.

    Awesome!

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  3. I'm really interested to see where you go with this.

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  4. Okay. I'll apologize in advance. My entry is better viewed on my blog. You'll see why.

    http://www.amaya-radjani.com/2011/12/nightingales.html

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  5. finished my entry! it's four pages though. should I post it here anyway?

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  6. This will be a series of posts since the original document is waaay too long for one posting...

    Title: The Fallen
    Bios in order of pictured appearance:
    Stellar/Lisa –a fallen Seraph whom a few years ago made contact with Sparrow—who was saving her life. Together they work for the Bluebird Assassins. Before then she was Lisa, a part-time student working at a call center. She's someone who simply does as told and followed the rules. Lisa, though shy and quiet was more than happy to share her time with others once she knew it was safe to let her guard down. Most of this comes from a past filled with oppressive humiliation and psychological abuse. As a result Lisa, tends to internalize discomfort and anger when faced with humiliating circumstances. She is not an outspoken person, but goes out of her way to do her best for others in similar situations. She dreams of being taken seriously as a woman and thinks going to school to become a nurse-practitioner is a step in the right direction. She enjoys reading comics and graphic novels, as well as mysteries, historical fiction, and utopian tales.

    As a Seraph (a class of arch angel that kills), Stellar specialized in weapons-based kills. Her weapons of choice were daggers and throwing knives. Stellar was also adept at human pressure points both painful and helpful and utilized this knowledge for mercy kills as well as executions. Stellar’s pride as a Seraph was unquestioned as well as her dedication to the planet and its activities. She too blindly followed the directives of her superiors on Heaven, believing them to be God’s will. Her older sister Sparrow—also adept as a Seraph specializing in hand to hand and human pressure points—was always there to keep Stellar out of trouble—something that arose frequently when others would question the directives of superior angelic beings. Sparrow is level-headed and more humble than her sister; always doing her best to stay out of trouble and excel at her duties. This often makes Sparrow appear cold to Stellar but also dependable.
    Upon realizing Sparrow is part of a faction— the Truth Seekers—that openly questions and works to expose the authority of the Higher Angels as corrupt, their sturdy relationship becomes strained. Things come to a head when Sparrow is set up to kill someone that ends up being a Guardian, friend, and ally. Killing other Angels is forbidden and punished by being sent to Earth as a Fallen One. As Sparrow is being sent to Earth, Stellar discovers the Higher Order Angel behind the setup when overhearing details about the job after a debriefing. She avenges her sister by teaming up with her sister’s friend Nova (a Seer) to take out three angelic beings known to have been linked to the setup of her sister. As a result she too gets sent to Earth as and is bonded to a human soul at its birth (the same has happened to Sparrow two Earth years earlier).
    A group of demons working to continue shifting the balance of Earth’s energies to a Hell-heavy one become aware of Stellar’s presence on Earth. Knowing her status as a Fallen One, they begin and finally track her down, knowing her awakening and potential joining with the Bluebird Assassins could stall plans for their sector of Earth.
    The Bluebird Assassins a group of elite killers—along with other personnel that are both human and Fallen Ones—that does their best to keep their affairs hidden. Often they deal with not only Earthly affairs but, Heavenly, and Hellish (both are planets) ones as well, are located in well hidden, underground areas which can only be accessed via portals which also allows travel to and from Heaven and Hell usually undetected. Often their job involves maintaining balance on Earth (kept in place by the planetary forces of Heaven and Hell) by assassinating figures and beings disguised as humans that are disrupting that balance. Whether or not their missions are just is usually brought into question by others in the organization.

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  7. Sparrow/Katrina—a fallen Seraph whose awakening was linked to her following a path closely connected to that of her life as an angelic being. As Katrina, she was an agent for the CIA whose specialty was hand to hand combat and immobilizing targets by knowing pressure points. Katrina was also level-headed in nearly all situations which distanced her from many except her close friends. Katrina’s dependability and understanding ways is what is appreciated by those who get close to her. Being raised in a military household taught Katrina the discipline that guides her no-nonsense approach to life.
    Katrina’s awakening was confirmed by the Bluebird Assassins whom had only heard rumors of Sparrow’s presence in their sector. After making contact and convincing her to join—it helped that a few Fallen Truths Seekers were a part of the Assassins—Sparrow moved up quickly in the ranks to a position where she could begin keeping tabs on potential fallen Seraphs. Something within her is aware that Stellar is also on Earth and within their sector of operation. Sparrow is also aware that demons are finding and killing suspected Fallen Seraphs as well. She uses this information to spy on and follow the demons’ trail where she finally comes across Stellar before demons take her life—she is gravely injured in the process. Instinct kicks in for the freshly awakened Stellar and she eliminates the remaining demon before tending to Sparrow. The relationship between the sisters is quickly rekindled as they connect their souls (in a mind-meld of sorts) and share their memories of the past and present, human and angel. They promise to look out for one another and figure out if the events on Heaven are related to the jobs they are charged with doing on Earth with the Assassins. They also begin to search for Nova.

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  8. Nova/Ava—a fallen Seer (angels positioned among the stars who watch and transmits messages back and forth from Heaven to Earth via Communicators; whom usually use dreams, movement in the Earth, and other people on Earth with earthbound communications). Often thought of as celestial beings on Earth, Seers work closely with not only Communicators but, Seraphs (like Stellar) and Guardians (like Benny) as well. Seers spend little time on Heaven to rest and download their memories into an Earth database. Like most angels they are dutiful and loyal but not naïve. Nova joins the Truth Seekers after witnessing questionable angelic activities within her sector of Earth and hearing tales from other Seers nearby. When she is on Heaven, Nova spent what time she could with other Truth Seekers like Sparrow and Halo, reporting on the latest stories and activities. The three friends were drawn together by their cautious, level-headed ways, their dedication and love for Heaven and Earth, their humility and dependability. Nova witnesses Sparrow’s downfall on Earth and works with Stellar to take action (knowing that Sparrow would never kill another angel with or without cause—let alone a fellow friend). She participates in the killing of three angels and is sent to Earth shortly after Stellar is.
    Ava is graduate student in English whom is disgruntled with the politics of academia. More than anything she wants to write her own stories rather than eternally re-examine the classics. Still, Ava is determined to get her Ph.D. and prove her adoptive parents wrong about her ability to follow through and complete anything. She also wants to establish a sturdy spiritual practice but is too scatterbrained to focus too long on more than one or two pursuits. Still she feels a desire to connect spiritually in order to live a more fulfilling life. Sometimes she things this connection is communicated through her dreams which at times send her strong messages that she doesn’t know how to understand or interpret. She repeatedly has déjà vu, which was previously experienced in a dream, which she takes to mean that she is on the right path to something, though she is unsure of what that is.
    Ava is unaware that what is communicating with her are a few trusted friends and fellow Truth Seekers in Heaven: Pulse, a Guardian; Focus and Zero Seers whom try to communicate with Nova in secret since things have gotten tense with the Truth Seekers and the Higher Angels—which have become more oppressive as of late. Only Seers and Guardians have this unknown loophole to utilize with other Fallen Ones and are thus seen as clairvoyant, the extent to which depends on their spiritual groundedness. Because she is not as spiritually grounded as is necessary for her to receive communications from her friends, Ava/Nova has missed a lot of cues from her friends, whom are trying to connect her with Katrina/Sparrow and Lisa/Stellar.

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  9. Benevolence/Benita/Benny—a fallen Guardian that develops a strong connection to those on Earth she is supposed to watch over (each Guardian has one charge—a contract that ends at the end of that person’s life). Benevolence also has this type of connection to her friends. Like most Guardians, she is cheerful, lighthearted and above all loyal and dependable. At the same time, other angels like Seraphs and Elementals tend to take Guardians for fools because of their kindness and loyalty to angels and humans alike. Since her creation, Benevolence has successfully seen five charges through their natural life on Earth, all of whom became Guardians themselves. Benevolence is unaware of the Truth Seekers or that there is a developing rift between them and the Higher Angels, because of her fierce dedication to her duties. This begins to change when longtime friend Pulse (a Guardian) asks her to occasionally keep watch over newborn Ava (guilty fallen ones are not assigned Guardians), who lives near her current charge—a young and troubled Halo/Brendan (Pulse oversees charges from a different sector of the Earth). She is gladly willing and soon regrets when she is alerted via a Seer friend Isis that Halo is about to be killed by an Archangel (a Higher Angel version of Seraphs) called Mourn. Guardians are capable of becoming quite fierce when doing what they are created to do and Benevolence was no different. As a wandering Brendan is pushed into a river a split second later Mourn is slammed into a protruding broken tree branch by an angry and panicked Benevolence before she saves an injured Brendan. She is not concerned with the fact that she committed the ultimate taboo as she is that Brendan’s life is unprotected. Upon her sentencing, she begs Isis to find another Guardian to take her place and continue watching over Brendan.
    Benita or Benny is working on getting a BA in Social Work so she can work in foster care. A former foster child herself with bad experiences—including the death of a younger sibling—and going from home to home , Benny feels she can change the system for others currently in what used to be her situation. Despite the harshness of life, Benny is surprisingly warm, kind, and happy with her adult life. She looks forward to making a difference in the lives of others. To afford school she works for after school programs at the YMCA and a residence home for the elderly over the weekends. She is close with individuals at each place but is particularly close with one elderly resident (who happens to be a younger sister of one of her charges). Benny is trusting to the point of being gullible but is a good friend because of her loyalty and dependability. She is also very protective of those she is close to because of her past experiences. Benny is an on again off again Christian but is steady in her spiritual beliefs so she is also keen on messages sent to her via dreams. Benny is close to awakening herself to her past and it will be her eventual direct contact with Ava—her TA (grader and office hours personnel, not lecturer) in an upcoming English class in the spring—that will propel her into recognition.
    Whether or not Benny will choose to be one of the Bluebirds is up in the air but she will come to understand why things happened in Heaven as they did and the growing rift between the angelic factions of the Higher Angels and the Truth Seekers.

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  10. On Earth this story is set in Washington State and the Bluebird Assassins’ home base is in an undisclosed series of underground locations that can only be accessed through portals. This story also takes place on the planets of Heaven and Hell (still figuring out how to flesh out the role of Hell in this saga).
    The genre is fantasy, mystery, action and adventure.

    The very first episode would feature the back stories and awakening of Stellar/Lisa and Sparrow/Katrina as well as Nova/Ava; whom the two contemplate seeking out once they re/join the rest of the assassins

    First Seasons’ theme: the recognition and merging of their angelic-ness with their humanity. For the series the theme trying to figure out what they are actually fighting for, which side is the right side to be on, and becoming sure of themselves to the point of exercising their own agency—which may go against the tenets either human or angelic ways.
    One thing that has been difficult to articulate about this storyline is my intention for the angelic beings to be genderless—not sure how to go about establishing pronouns for angelic beings or their sibling connection (i.e. created by the same Creator–another class of angels). Another thing that is difficult is imagining another language (angelic tongue) spoken among angels, even telepathically.

    Original sketchings of this idea are on my blog.
    Thanks for any feedback given!

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  11. Miss Mie, can I take this and use the format for my writing club at school?

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