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Home » Archives » August 2006 » Zia Padora, that should be the full name. Huh? Right? Are you with me?
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08/30/2006: Zia Padora, that should be the full name. Huh? Right? Are you with me?

My parents got a new puppy this week. She's a teeny baby Bichon Frise whom they have named Zia. Can you believe these are the same people who came up with "Jane"? I suspect I'd've had a different life if I was named Zia Espenson. Not better, but different. Names can be like pins that attach us to our lives.

Or, sometimes, they make things realer. When nothing got named "zero," people started thinking about numbers in a different way. Nothing became something.

A similar interesting thing happens when you're breaking a story and you give a name to each act of your script. I find it to be totally helpful. At the very least, it makes you more aware of the overall shape of the story. Here's an example of how you might label the acts of a spec script.

ACT ONE: The building storm
ACT TWO: Self-deception adds to the trouble
ACT THREE: We strike back
ACT FOUR: Double-cross!
ACT FIVE: We win!

Or whatever. These are for demonstration purposes only.

Label the acts with whatever you feel best describes the thrust of the story in that act. I find that once I've settled on these names, I'm far better able to tell if a given scene is doing what I need it to do. If I have to let go of one of these guide ropes to reach for a scene, then I know I'm in danger of losing my way.

Lunch: a nice tongue sandwich. Loosen up! Try it!


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