Scene Fun: Keith fights for his wife – Part 1

Let’s craft a scene together. Before we begin, however, let’s establish some scene necessities, so we know not to go astray.

Protagonist: Let’s call him Keith.

Objective: Keith needs to get to his cell phone to call his wife before she boards a plane and flies to a different continent, to live with her mother. (Notice the stakes – if Keiths fails to get a hold of her, he will lose her forever. This could appropriately be considered a ‘psychological death’. The threat of dying, in one form or another, is necessary to keep the viewer involved in the protagonist’s journey. Increasing the stakes will always add weight to your story. Stakes should be regarded as the torment your protagonist will endure should they fail in attaining their objective.)

Antagonist: Floyd, the two-faced scumbag who is friends with Bethany, Keith’s beautiful wife. He told her that Keith had been cheating on her, when in fact Keith hadn’t been. *The reason Floyd told Bethany this has yet to be determined, but will eventually come out.

Sound ridiculous? It is. In fact, I have no idea how to string all these items together. Oh well, let’s see what develops: 

*Motivation for the antagonist is incredibly important. The antagonist CANNOT be a character who exist solely to make fun of the protagonist then laugh loudly with their henchmen.

* * *

Keith couldn’t believe it. Twenty-two years. Twenty-two years of blissful marriage, until this brought it to a screeching halt – Bethany had somehow been convinced beyond any shadow of a doubt that he’d been cheating on her. she’d already booked her flight out of the country. He had only minutes before she’d be boarding and turning off her phone. After that, there’d be no way to get a hold of her – Once she got to the village of Checkistan, she’d have no access to technology or international mail. That’d be it – the end of a blissful marriage, all because Bethany’s schmuck friend named Floyd had convinced her that she’d been played.  And Floyd, who Bethany had said was a ‘kind, sweet-hearted man’, was unfolding to be the biggest nut-job Keith had ever met in his life. 

“Why are you doing this?” Keith asked him.

“Why did you cheat on Bethany? She deserves better than you,” said Floyd. He pressed the button to the drill and gave the bit a quick spin.

Keith stared in disbelief. Here he was, roped to a chair, and bound by his hands and feet. Facing death. Why? That’s what he couldn’t figure out. What compelled this sicko to destroy his life? Keith had run into him on a couple of occasions, but was never made aware that he’d done anything to upset this wack-job. 

“I never cheated on her. You made that up.”

No response.

“Why?”

“Because you DON’T DESERVE HER, Keith. You’re a despicable, vial human being. She told me all about those women she caught you flirting with. Don’t tell me you don’t masturbate to them whenever you’re taking a crap!”

Keith winced his eyes closed. This was the man who was destroying his life – this absolute moron. “What do you want? What can I do to prove how much I love my wife to you?”

“It’s too late for that now. You failed her. She must leave you and visit her mother.”

“What about you?”

“What about me?”

“What’s in it for you?”

“I get to teach Bethany’s tormentor a lesson.”

“Tormentor? Notice the ring? She’s my wife. That means she’s married to me, not you.”

“None of that matters anymore. After today, you will be dead, and I-” 

“She’s got no love for you. You’re nothing but a shoulder to cry on.”

“Ha!” Floyd said. “After today, I’ll be Bethany’s penis to cry on.”

Keith shook his head. “Your understanding of sex bewilders me.”

“Quiet!” Floyd spun the drill again. He approached with a twisted smile, and held the grinding construction tool with a flamboyant wag near his shoulder. 

“You’re a strange man.”

“You’re one to talk,” said Floyd. “A few moments from now you won’t be a man at all.”

“What?”

Floyd stuck the tip of his tongue through his teeth, then dropped down to his knees. He placed his hand on Keith’s knee, then crawled his fingers up his thigh like they were the legs of a spider.

“I’m going to make it so you never cheat again.”

“What are you talking about,” said Keith. He was scared now. Keith gulped, then tried to rip his knee into Floyd’s face. Unfortunately, the most movement he could manage was little more than a wobble. 

“I’m about to unscrew the screw that made you screw.”

Keith stared at him. Floyed smiled back and continued to rev the drill bit.

This wasn’t a joke anymore. This was serious. 

* * *

I don’t like my daily posts to run a full chapter length, and unfortunately this one looks like it’s got a long ways to go. I’ll resume this another day, sorry to cut it short.

– Thomas M. Watt

– Script analyst for SpecScout.com

– Author of A New Kingdom

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5 thoughts on “Scene Fun: Keith fights for his wife – Part 1

    • Haha originally it was called ouzykxistan, but I felt a half american/half middle Eastern name would seem more fitting for a woman named Bethany to call home (and be without technology). One thing I’m learning by writing these skits is That i have trouble keeping the tone serious without falling into wacky. I need to work on that.

  1. Great Post. I have reserved the book you suggested, “Story Engineering” by Larry Brooks. If you haven’t read, you might enjoy Les Edgerton’s “Finding Your Voice” and “Hooked”, also published by Writer’s Digest.

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