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What I’m Writing {5}: Screenwriting and Sociopaths

October 22, 2011
Well, hello there. 
This week I’m writing my life away, butworking on a bit of a new project. (Meaning, I’m sort of stuck withAirport Book and not sure how to proceed, so I just started a differentproject. Because that makes sense?) 
Anyway, I’m trying my hand atscreenwriting. I’m a big TV junkie and like to think that I write visually. Alot of times when I’m writing, I think of what the scene would look like on ascreen, or what kind of shots might be used if it were being filmed. 
There are also a couple really cool,but really competitive screenwriting programs for new, inexperienced, aspiringtelevision writers that I might submit to next year if I think my stuff isup-to-snuff. WE SHALL SEE. 
Anyway, the format of screenwriting isfar more rigid than for writing books. And! I think it’s incredible just how incontrol of things the writers actually are. They write in directions for theactors, camera shots, transition shots, scene setting—everything really.Screenwriters have to know every aspect of the filming, directing, and actingprocess. It’s a little . . . intimidating, actually. (If you want a greatexample, check out the pilot for The Vampire Diaries. It’s INCREDIBLY detailed.) 
Anyway, so my idea for a TV show is areally dark dramedy about a cheerleader who is a sociopath, but is doing herbest to suppress her urge to kill everyone around her. It’s creepy. It’s fun.It’s a really good way to take out my stress. If you’re interested in my crackat an opening scene, check it out, after the jump. 

INT. CLAIRE’S BEDROOM — LATE NIGHT
Room is dark. See back of CLAIRE TRANTHAM—16, blonde, pretty, petite—sitting in front of computer. Can hear her typing. Only light is from the computer screen. 

CLAIRE (V.O.)

Today would have been Kill 78. This one was harder to resist than most. I came really close to going through with it. I really don’t know why I stopped. I probably shouldn’t have. 
FLASHBACK to JACKSON WATERS,—16, attractive, muscular, All-American—and Claire, both in underwear, making out on bed in Jackson’s room. Claire is on top of him. While making out with Jackson, Claire starts choking him. 
CLAIRE (V.O.) (CON’T)
It was one of my most vivid fantasies come to life. He was so vulnerable. His fear was delicious.
FLASHBACK to JACKSON and CLAIRE. She’s still choking him. His eyes are bulging, he’s trying to breathe. Just as you think he’s going to lose consciousness, Claire loosens her grip around his neck. Jackson gasps for air and roughly pushes Claire off of him. We can see that they are fighting, but can’t hear what they’re saying. Fades back to Claire typing. 
CLAIRE (V.O.)
So why did I stop? I want my first to mean something. The first should deserve the privilege of being my first. He definitely doesn’t deserve it. But now I have a problem. He knows what I’m capable of. And he’s the type to tell. I guess I’ll have to put an end to that—to him. Soon. Wish me luck. 
Claire clicks “Post.”  Posts to blog titled “Confessions of a Teenage Sociopath.” Has hundreds of thousands of subscribers. 

© BethanyLarson, 2011
So that’s it! If you feel so inclined,let me know what you think, in comments. I hope you’re all having a fantasticSaturday! 
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