Angelo Bell: Emergence of Imperfection in Storytelling


by Angelo Bell

The beauty of telling a story with the written word is that you can always change it. You can improve upon the story if it lacks intrigue, you can make it more exciting, you can crank up the drama or ratchet down the sexiness. Whatever you want to do, you can do. A world of choices is available to you at the click of a keyboard key.

Most importantly — especially for the career-minded screenwriter — you can take this opportunity to fill in the plot holes. According to Wikipedia:

a plot hole, or plothole, is a gap or inconsistency in a storyline that goes against the flow of logic established by the story’s plot, or constitutes a blatant omission of relevant information regarding the plot.

Plot hole much? Sure you do. We all do. We’ve all done it. We’ve gone on a raging stream of consciousness writing frenzy with little regard for logic, sense, or the laws of physics. When we finally come up for air we look down at our magnum opus and realize that we never set the stage for our hero’s ability to fly, or shoot laser beams out of his eyes. We realize that we’ve never truly laid the proper foundation to reveal our hero is actually a woman in men’s clothing.

Give yourself a break. It’s impossible to think of everything at once, so what do we do? We scale down the possibilities, we reel in the net, we shorten the story. We may want to go big, but we end up going extra-large instead.

And it’s fine.

Screenwriting is a fluid and dynamic endeavor. Our stories evolve as we do. In March it’s a sci-fi fantasy, in June it’s a coming of age period drama, in December it’s an epic fantasy martial arts adventure.

In 2010 I cranked out two scripts in the month of October. The first one, Deterrence Theory has undergone many revolutions, evolutions, incarnations and SEAL incursions. I sit on it now, in its current state and I humbly call it, A Perfect Weapon. No, seriously. That’s the new title. For obvious and not so obvious reasons I changed it (see my blog post, “What’s in a name…“), and now with recent changes to the story and the filling in of plot holes, I believe it is a tighter, less imperfect story.

In fact, considering the recent option of one of my other screenplays (which shall be nameless) I’m happy to work day and night to get A Perfect Weapon ready for the first serious offer from Paramount, Universal, Focus Features or Revolution. Brooklyn Weaver? Call me, maybe?