Categories > Original > Drama > The Archive (A Screenplay)

The Archive : Notes And Stuff

by sammywrae 0 reviews

Category: Drama - Rating: PG-13 - Genres:  - Published: 2008-06-30 - Updated: 2008-06-30 - 759 words - Complete


My original entry for ScriptFrenzy was going to be a story called "The Western Sky", set in the world of Elite, and following on from my other stories in that world (The White Rose saga, which I might post shortly, depending on time constraints and whether or not it classes as original fiction).

However, after reading through my outline, I realised that it would be much better told as a story story, and not a screen play. The main reason was there was a lot of action, and a lot of space flight and fighting, and so I didn't think that a 20,000 word screenplay would do it justice. And since I was somewhat invested in the characters and so on, I wanted to make sure that, when I wrote it, I wrote it well.

So instead I went back to a world I had created a long time back, for an online game called NationStates (I have long since stopped playing, but the world still exists, as did the events within it.

Part of the rules of SF was that it had to be original - you couldn't adapt something else, nor could you write a sequel or the like. And, while the history of Pallatium was written, the exact details were not. So I thought that a play about the most significant series of events was a good idea, and that it should be easier to write than The Western Sky, because it was something new.

The rules were you had to write a 20,000 word play in 30 days. At first I thought it would be impossible, but it turns out I was wrong.

I finished the play in 10 days, and it turned in at just over 23,000 words. The main reason for the overflow was the various word counters I had all told me I had written different values. And so rather than do exactly 20,000 words, and find out I was 1,000 short, I went over the limit and decided the extra few pages were worth it.

I have no idea how long the film would be, because there are some parts that are just talking, while there are some parts that are just establishing shots, and some that are just action (blowing up a building takes less time to do than to say, for example).


Despite what it may seem, this story is not a commentary on today's society (in regard to immigration, to terrorism, to the government's response and to public perception of all three). It is just a story, although you could call it a fable about what happens when violence is met with more violence. I would also like to add that, if I were in Sophia's position, I would not necessarily take the same path she took.

Overall, it turned out pretty much the way I wanted it. The character arc of Sophia (who is, obviously, the main character) was meant to be that way, and the reason for telling it in flashback form was that, if I had told it in a linear fashion, it would have been slightly dull (not a lot happens in the first few flashbacks), but also I wanted to show how the Sophia we see at the start of the film (the "terrorist" Sophia) became that way, and the events that pushed her in to the choices she made.

The latter part of the play (the end of part 5) does appear to be mostly speaking, but I could not find another way to do it. Once the fight for freedom is over, then there is not a lot left to do except talk.


It is very rare that someone rights something with no outside influences, and with no help from anyone else.

I am proud to admit that the second of those is actually true in this case. This is all my own work, although if I ever try to get it made in to a film, no doubt that will no longer be true.

However as to the first, there are a few influences. There are vague references to Babylon 5, and to Deep Space Nine, and a less vague reference to "The West Wing" (although, if you don't watch the show regularly, you might miss it).

Random Statistics

According to the word counter, the script part of the play is 23,173 words long, and there are 119 distinct scenes (though some of these are establishing shots). The most commonly used word is "The", and the most commonly mentioned character is (not surprisingly) Sophia.

Thank you for reading.
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