Thursday, April 16, 2015

Your Turn!


So, it’s my turn to blog, and I thought: “It’s hardly fair that I get to do all the writing and you get to do all the reading.” So what about we all have a go this time. I’m going to post a synopsis here, and invite you to choose a scene to develop either as a piece of prose or screenplay, and then post in the comments. I’d suggest you check the comments and try to write in chronological sequence. Of course that might not always work, as two or three eager beavers might be away working on the same scene at the same time. It doesn’t matter. In about a week, I’m going to check the comments and see how the story looks. I might choose the scenes I like the best, stitch them together and post on my website. Don’t forget to post a name for the story as well. OK then. Ready. Set. Go... Here’s the synopsis:

Setting – small rural Australian town, mid winter
Main characters Michele (pronounced Mick-el) named after his Italian great-grandfather, 30 year old farmer who has just taken the reins of the farm as his parents have bought a caravan to take a year travelling around the country. He agrees to take in a house mate to help the local school with a short-term accommodation for one of their temporary teachers.

Charlie – 23 years old, is named after her grandfather. Fresh out of Uni has won a short-term temporary contract at the local primary school for a maternity leave staffer. Charlie is from the city but has been assured they will find her suitable accommodation.

Scene One – Charlie has left the city at 4am to reach her new school in time for classes, but she has a flat tyre. She You Tubes ‘How to change a tyre’, but wheel nuts won’t loosen. Michele comes along, is condescending, she is offended. The tyre is changed. It is raining.

Scene two – Charlie reads instructions to Michelle’s house. When a man opens the door – the man she has already met on the road, she asks after Michelle, and he is annoyed, as he is Michele. She’s expecting a woman, he is expecting a man. Charlie says she doesn’t feel comfortable moving in with a man. He says ‘suit yourself’.

Scene three – Charlie goes to the local pub. It is run down, poorly run, and the owner is a bit sleezy – as are some of the patrons. Charlie gets a key to a very run down room. She goes to have a counter meal and gets propositioned. She stands her ground, but not very convincingly. Michele has come to the pub to see how things turn out. He plays the hero and fends off the unwanted attention. Charlie is annoyed with him, as she says she can look after herself. She decides she would prefer to trust Michele than the men in the pub.

Scene four – Charlie’s second day at school. The classroom is a little chaotic. A ten year old informs her she is Michele’s cousin, and tells Charlie all about what her mother thinks about Michele and his impossible love life.

Scene five – Charlie discovers she and Michele have something in common: they both love footy (AFL). She agrees to go watch him play on Saturday. She sits in his car, pulled up around the outside of the oval. It’s all good until he takes a hit in the head and is carted off the ground on a stretcher. She waits until his mates come to get his car. When they see her, they suggest she could take him to the hospital in the next town. She has the car and the keys, and they basically leave her with it.

Scene six – The doctor says Michele can’t drive, and someone should keep an eye on him for his concussion. Everybody makes assumptions. She sits up with him for the whole night.

Scene seven – They have something else in common: they both go to church on Sunday. Charlie drives. More raised eyebrows and assumptions.

Scene eight – Michele’s young cousin if full of gossip and what her mother thinks of the situation. Charlie sets her straight, and determines to set the record straight with Michele’s aunt.

Scene nine – The six weeks are up, and Charlie has packed ready to go. She has a little farewell party with the kids at school. Michele’s cousin tells her that Michele doesn’t want her to go. He’s never said anything to her, so she is a bit confused by this.

Scene ten – writers, choose your own ending. Let’s see what you come up with.

Hope you have fun with this. Don’t forget to keep an eye on the comments and see how the story grows. I will post your compilation (or selected parts of it) on my website later.

www.meredithresce.com

Meredith Resce has sixteen books published. She is currently preparing the sixth title in the best-selling ‘Heart of Green Valley’ series.

23 comments:

  1. (I like these two!)
    Feeling miserable Charlie's actually heading out of town. Not one word form Michele? That proves he doesn't care. Just as she leaves the town's houses and shops behind she starts to sniffle, then the tears flow. He might have his stubborn streaks but there's just something about him she can't get out of her mind. Well on the way to the next town, she hears a police siren. What? she didn't think she was speeding bu forgot to set her cruise control. Oh, drat, one thing after another. Pulls over, searches for her license when the policeman appears. Signals her to roll down her window. 'Sorry ma'am, but I hear you have some unfinished business in town. You need to follow me.' He leaves before she can reply. "What on earth?" She doesn't want trouble so she follows hm back. He pulls over just outside of town behind another car, salutes and takes off. Annoyed but puzzled she sits there gripping the wheel. The car door in front opens. What? Michele strolls over to her. 'Argh, that infuriating man.' but she gets out to confront him. He simply takes her in his arms and whispers, 'Nothing like a good mate to get me out of strife. I love you, you beautiful maddening woman, you!'

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    1. I forgot. It's raining heavily as she leaves. Windscreen wiper making it difficult to see (Just for atmosphere.)They both get soaked in the end.
      Maybe CROSS PURPOSES for title. Not 'Raindrops are falling on my head.'

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    2. Nice ending. Of course I'm waiting for some opening scenes to emerge.

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    3. Sorry, I've been flat out with a several projects at the moment. Maybe in a day or two I'll get some breathing space to be creative. Then again maybe not. Fun exercise though :)

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    4. Yes, I guess lots of writers are writing...I will eventually write it myself, if all else fails - though I have Rita's interesting ending to work with now as well.

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  2. I like the synopsis. I do hope it gets written.

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  3. I like Rita's as well!

    Nice romantic plot progression, Meredith.

    It's late and I'm tired, but here goes! Charlie heads back to the city and breaks down again. This time it's the radiator and no amount of googling tells her she can fix it herself.

    The NRMA/RAC come out eventually to tow her car to the next town, closer to home.

    She again books into the local pub because she the car can't be fixed until a part arrives.

    The young mechanic is very friendly and they realise he knows her sister from when he worked at a car dealer in the city.

    They have dinner together and enjoy each other's company.

    The next morning Charlie is at the mechanical workshop waiting for the truck that will bring the radiator part. She and the young mechanic are laughing and joking.

    Michele turns up. He's come to the town to pick up a part for his tractor and is surprised to find Charlie here, having fun with her new friend.

    He accuses her of being a flirt and they argue. The new friend is bemused by the whole thing and is not jealous at all because he actually likes her sister.

    The truck hasn't arrived so she goes back to the hotel for lunch. Michele arrives there too.

    He buys her a drink as an apology and tells her he's been a jerk. She agrees.

    They eat lunch together and by the time the truck arrives with their spare parts, they've had a good laugh at each other. He promises to take her out for dinner when he's next in the city.

    That's it for now!!

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    1. Oh, Elaine: when he's next in the city...That means the story continues...Oh my.

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  4. This was lots of fun, thanks Meredith.
    Title suggestions - Ass out of You and Me (play on the saying about assumptions) Chalk and Cheese (she's a teacher, maybe he's a dairy farmer or is that too cheesy :)

    Scene 1 part 1

    “Oh no, please don’t do this to me.”
    This was the perfect time for a few choice four-letter words but Charlie bit her tongue and eased her foot down on the brake. She manoeuvred over to the side of the road and flicked on the hazard lights.
    The last thing she needed was a flat tyre. How in the heck did one change a flat? She’d never had one before. Trains don’t get flats. Charlie considered calling roadside assistance, but out in the country at 6am, was it really worth it? She’d probably be waiting for hours.
    Charlie swallowed another mouthful of coffee, instantly regretting it. It was stone cold and foul.
    What was so hard about making coffee? Apparently everything, judging by the horrific swill she’d been ingesting since 4am. She should have brought her own thermos.
    Wrestling with her bag in the front seat she managed to locate her mobile.
    “Yes, reception!” Charlie typed ‘how to change a flat tyre’ into Google search and a YouTube video popped up.
    That looked easy enough. Charlie sighed and peered outside. The only light came from her headlights and rain still pelted her car, not to mention, it was the middle of winter.
    “I so don’t want to go out into that.”
    But from the video it looked as though changing a tyre was an outside job.
    “It’s okay, I can do this. I can do this.” Charlie put her hand on the door handle in what she hoped was a determined way. “I am 23 years old, independent, I am a teacher, and I am on my own. I am going to have to do this. And I’m going to have stop talking to myself.”
    Charlie took a deep breath and stepped outside. The rain hit her in the face, stinging her eyes and cheeks. It took a few seconds before it started to trickle down the inside of her jumper. Her coat was in the back. She ran to the back of the car and popped open the boot, this time letting a few expletives escape. It was chock full of her luggage. How could she possibly get to the jack thingy and spare tyre? Did she even have a spare tyre? She was sure Popa must have kept one—he was very organised. Charlie began tossing her things into the backseat. At least with the hatch up she was shielded from the rain.
    Success, a jack thingy and yep there was a tyre snuggled underneath the mat. She wished she could trade places with it.
    “Okay, I’ve come this far. Be brave.” Charlie slammed down the hatch.
    She got down on all fours cringing as the mud rushed up to meet her jeans. This was going to be a long, long morning.
    After wrestling with the jack thingy forever Charlie stood up, groaning as her knees straightened. She surveyed her work. The back wheel was actually off the ground. The jack thingy had done its job.
    She let out a whoop and punched the air. “Yes!”

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  5. Scene 1 part 2

    Now, to get the thing off. She fumbled around in the dark trying to find the first nut and managed to fit the wheel brace around it and pushed down hard. It didn’t budge. She took a deep breath blew on her frozen hands and pressed down as hard as she could. Her hand slipped and she almost landed in the mud.
    Who had tightened this thing, Superman? There was no way she was going to get it off. Charlie straightened and screamed in frustration. She’d have to call road-side assist.
    “Do you need any help?”
    Charlie’s heart slammed into high gear and took off down the highway. What the heck?
    “Oh my gosh, don’t do that to people.” She yelled, still staring at her car.
    She turned around, hand on her still racing heart and faced the intruder. It belonged to a male rugged up in a Driza-bone and Akubra. Who was this guy, the man from Snowy River? She almost told him it wasn’t the nineteenth century. But then noticed the rain was running off of him and soaking him. So, maybe the jackaroo get up was justified.
    “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you.” He had to yell to be heard over the engines and rain. He gestured to his ute which was parked behind her hatchback, it’s headlights spotlighting her car. How had she not noticed him drive up?
    “Looks like you could use someone who knows what they’re doing?”
    Charlie took a step back. She wasn’t some damsel in distress here. She’d just jacked up her car in the pouring rain, for crying out loud.
    “I’m sure I can figure something out,” she said, the words jumping out harsh, but then she’d meant them to be. She unconsciously wrapped her arms around herself to try and preserve some warmth.
    “I’m sure you could.” The guy replied and then eyed her as she forced her hands back to her sides.
    Charlie groaned inwardly. This guy was going to make her beg for his help. If it had been any other situation, she’d have told him to get lost. But she needed him if only to get out of this weather before she began to go into hypothermic shock.
    “I would really appreciate your help,” she forced herself to say between gritted teeth. Gritted to stop them from chattering more than anything else.
    “That a girl.” Came the triumphant response.
    She almost decked him.
    Jim Craig took the wheel brace in both hands and then pulled up.

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    1. That is fabulous, Linsey. I love it. I wonder if anyone else will fill out the other scenes, or if I'll have to do it myself.

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    2. Linsey - I had two LOL moments reading these scenes. So well done. Have you got a blog or something where I can read more of your work?

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    3. I love the two main characters. Sounds like Linsey, Rita and Meredith could pull together a good collaboration.

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    4. And Elaine, of course. We need to see some good twists and turns before the happy romantic ending.

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    5. Thank you, I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I had such a fun time writing this scene. I'm looking forward to reading what other people write about Charlie and Michele.
      I have a blog at linseysusanne.blogspot.com.au

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    6. Hi Meredith, I hope I'm not over stepping the bounds here, but if you would like some more scenes, I'd be happy to write a some more. Not sure what exactly you had in mind. It's good writing practice for me. No worries if you've got it all sorted. Just thought I'd put out the offer.

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  6. Great idea Meredith and an interesting synopsis. Sorry I haven't had time to add to it yet, but I love the idea. Will be interesting to see what everyone comes up with.

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  7. Great idea Meredith and an interesting synopsis. Sorry I haven't had time to add to it yet, but I love the idea. Will be interesting to see what everyone comes up with.

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  8. Ok Meredith, I'll have a crack at Scene 2. Here it goes:

    Charlies teeth were still chattering even though she had the car heater on flat out. She tried to stop her hands shaking so much so she could read her notes on how to get to Michele's house.
    "I'll probably catch pneumonia thanks to you," she aimed a clenched fist at the steering wheel. A car horn tooted as "Jim Craig" sped off having finished changing her tyre and then helping her re-pack her boot.
    "You arrogant self righteous male," she shot after the disappearing taillights. "If I never see you again, that will suit me just fine." She hung her head feeling a bit guilty about her outburst, after all he had stopped and helped her, and there hadn't been another vehicle for a long time.The smug air about him had just ticked her off. "Him with his Jim Craig hat and coat," whilst she, already soaked to the skin had conceded to sit in his car out of the rain. He had insisted, after loosening the first wheel nut, pointing out she was wet and freezing, "Humph, stating the obvious". He had held out his keys in a condescending manner and instructed her to start the car and crank up the heater. His steely blue stare had stopped her rising protest and instead she had ungraciously snatched the keys from his hand and retreated to the dry, heated interior of his car. Watching him from the warm interior through the swish, swish of the windscreen wipers she had been amazed at how quickly he had finished the task. In no time at all he was on his way with barely another word.
    "Come on heater get warm faster". Just the brief walk from his car to hers had been enough in this foul weather to add to her already sorry state. She sneezed violently and wiped her nose on a tissue she found in her handbag. Peering at her directions she tried to concentrate on them. It was slowly beginning to get lighter around her as down tried to break through the storm clouds. Turning on her interior light she squinted at her notes again.
    "Right, let's get going old girl", turning on her headlights and putting the car into drive, she indicated, checked her mirrors and seeing nothing carefully pulls out onto the road.
    "Hurry up heater", she mumbles casting a glare in its direction. Rain is still teaming down on her car as Charlie carefully drives on. She drives for a while then makes a left and a right and finds herself on a thin strip of bitumen road. "Good grief, I'm in the back of Burke", she stares at the road ahead and turns onto it. Not a soul in sight in any direction, just fields and wet cows and sheep, blowing trees and endless drumming rain. Snatching up her notes again, Charlie holds them in her now slightly less cold hands and reads them whilst peering over the at the road ahead. "Ok, so I think this is the right way. I need Woolshed Lane on my right. Great name for a road", she scoffs, then as if in response a crocked signpost with faded black lettering appears on her right. Indicating and turning she peers at it through her side window as she slowly turns onto what is now a dirt road. "Great" Let's hope it's a hard surface because you're not a 4 x 4 old girl." Carefully navigating the first section she finds it slippery by ok."Bet the locals all have 4 x 4's. Never mind old girl, we're nearly there now. Should be on our left soon." Peering through the slashing wipers she can just make out the shadowy shapes of buildings. Slowing down to a crawl she indicates left into the driveway. "Your not in the city now girl, and not a vehicle in sight. Who are you indicating for the cows!" Laughing at her own joke and continuing down the long tree lined drive she stares in amazement as it opens into a wide circular drive in front of a large timber homestead. Her mouth drops open at the manicured lawn and gardens in front of her. "Wow, this is lovely. I hope Michele is home."

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  9. Scene 2 part 2

    Switching off her car and grabbing her handbag she steps out of the warmth into the arctic ice rain, slams the door and bolts up the front steps. Pausing on the wide verandah to flick water off herself and her hair. "This place is beautiful", she smiles crossing the verandah and stopping in front of the large carved timber front door.The brass horse head knocker in its centre seems to be staring at her. Gingerly she lifts it and raps 3 times. Still brushing rain off her cloths she is startled by a gruff male voice. "What are you doing here!" he demands on seeing the young woman whose tyre he had recently changed. "Is Michele home? I believe she has a room for me." She looks up into the steel blue eyes that she had wished to never see again. "The name is Michele pronounced Mick-el" came the angry retort. "You can't possibly be Charlie, your not a man."
    Michele is standing in the doorway in jeans, blue shirt and boots. Charlie opens and closes her mouth like a fish gasping for air while she tries to gather her scattered thoughts. Then a shudder runs thorough her body as the freezing wind blows against her wet clothing. Noticing this Michele abruptly stands to the side indicating with a sweep of his arm for her to enter. "Oh for goodness sake woman, come into the sitting room and warm yourself by the fire while we sort this mess out." Charlie grudgingly accepts his offer. Standing in front of the fire warming herself and wondering how on earth this happened Charlie steals a quick sideways glance at Michele. He is a handsome man, tall, muscular and now Charlie can see him out of his coast she can see that he is slender of frame. She rubs her hands together staring into the fire. It had never occurred to her that someone might think she was a man. What a disastrous day this was turning out to be.
    "So Charlie," he sits on the couch crossing his ankles and resting his arms across his lap, "I assume that's your name as you didn't say, your in a bit of a predicament. You thought I was a woman and I though you were a man. However, my offer of a room still stands, as I'm out working all day, and so will you be, so we will hardly see each other anyway."
    Charlie looks hopelessly at Michele. "I can't possibly stay here, it wouldn't be proper for a single woman to move in with a single man. "
    Michele rises from the couch, crosses to the front door and opens it. "Suit yourself," he stands there holding the door, the freezing wind blowing in on them both.
    Irritated and confused Charlie storms past him and out into the rain and cold to her car, hearing the front door slam loudly behind her causing the brass horse head knocker to rattle in protest. "What an infuriating man," she fumbles for her keys, getting drenched again. Opening her car door she jumps into the fading warmth of its interior, starts it up and skids off as she accelerates rapidly down the drive.

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  10. If anyone is interested I have a blog titled: "Great Places To Visit and Other Interesting Stuff". www.cindyschulz.blogspot.com

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  11. Good work, Cindy. The plot thickens! He is infuriating, isn't he. We'll have to soften him up in a few scene's time.

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  12. At the time, I was thinking along the lines of him having suffered a personal loss i.e. was married and his wife died of breast cancer or something like that, and he is hurt and wounded etc, so is abrupt and keeps females in particular at arms length with his manner, as he's afraid to fall in love again for fear of losing a loved one again. With Charlie I was thinking that her reaction is really attraction, but she's confused and hurt by his manner towards her, but as time goes on they become more and more attracted and he maybe starts to open up to Charlie about his loss and then her heart goes out to him even more and they start to develop a relationship based on trust and opening up old wounds, listening to each other, being there for each other kind of thing. Anyway, just thinking....

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