Just When Everything Seems Hunky Dory, Sandra Bullock…

If you’ve read my book, which you should do on a monthly basis, you know the K.H. Rule of Drama. If you have not read my book, pond scum that you are, here is the Rule: “Just when everything seems hunky dory, everything is so… not.”

What that obscure little law of drama means is that, when something fantastic happens for your character, the NEXT THING that happens, is horrible. Right after little Julie reads Pat The Bunny by herself the first time, she runs outside to tell her grandmother and falls down a well.

Right when, in the horror movie, the couple has hot sex (is there any other kind?), the Hooded Claw kills both of them. Or the one who was a virgin, anyway.

But you say, “That’s a silly thing.” “Stuff like that happens zero in real life.”

I would disagree.

Just ask Sandra Bullock. Win an Oscar… (Everything is hunky dory). Find out that husband has been banging a tattooed horrorshow… (Everything is so… not.)

Whoops. Real life imitates art!

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14 Comments

Filed under Screenwriting

14 responses to “Just When Everything Seems Hunky Dory, Sandra Bullock…

  1. Part of me wants to feel bad for her. The rest of me is laughing at the irony. I guess it’s a fair trade off though: lose a guy made of flesh and blood, win a guy made of gold and starlet dreams.

    That formula is spot on. Look at Abraham Shakespeare: win the lotto, turn up missing and presumably dead.

    Heath Ledger: Finally star in a role that could overshadow the public’s scrutiny for B.B. Mountain, then whammo. Never get to witness the sweet irony of fan-boys going gay for him as the Joker.

    Lady Gaga: fulfills her dream of becoming a female pop-star, half the world accuses her of being a tranny.

    It’s incredible. Since reading that in your book, I’ve seen it everywhere, especially in comedy. Liz Lemon: finally gets her tasty samich, has to go deal with Tracy and Jenna.

    You are wise man, Mr. Akers.

  2. I’m not wise at all. I just had a very smart student who taught it to me. I’m wise because I remembered what she said and put it to good use.
    I love your examples!!!

    • haha, thanks.

      Well, whatever you want to call it, that book has honestly changed the way I think about story-telling, not just for screenwriting–story-telling in general. Between that and “Save the Cat” my whole thought process has been changed for the better.

      The bit about the producer: “I read to the first typo”… I’ve dusted off the ol’ style manuals, and been brushing up on my grammar like it was the latest fad. Still have a lot of work to do.

  3. elaine

    Wow, all this time and I only now discover you have a blog. I’ve just dumped Seth Godin for you 😉

  4. Kathryn

    Even better: Sandra Bullock won a Razzi before getting the Oscar!

    • yourscreenplaysucks

      Of course, that would be the H.K. Rule Drama… I guess… just when everything seems so not hunky dory, it is…!

  5. Kathryn

    P.S. Just to clarify – I didn’t mean better in terms of wanting SB to get dumped on, I thinks she’s wonderful. I meant better in terms of story – first she “wins” a Razzi for her performance in All About Steve, then she faces redemption at the Oscars, then she gets dumped on in her personal life. I’m in favor of a happy ending. Who do you think she should marry next? Or maybe she’ll discover she doesn’t need anyone at all.

    • yourscreenplaysucks

      Of course, if I were writing it as a drama, I would have the chick with the tattoo on her forehead (notice the use of the bangs!) LIE… and after great pain and suffering, Sandra discovers there was no affair… and Sandra and Jesse live happily ever after… after running over the Bombshell with a custom built armored car.

  6. Squatty HJ

    thank you. this post just rearranged a scene, took out two pages, and made it better. worth every penny.

    • yourscreenplaysucks

      What’s cool is how sometimes making stuff shorter makes it more powerful… better… like STP of yore: smoother, cooler, cleaner, quieter, longer too! THE RACER’S EDGE WAS MADE FOR YOU!
      Of course, if you’re under 40, you have no idea what I’m ranting about.
      Anyway, I’m glad you are pleased.
      Bad for Sandra Bullock, good for you!

      • Squatty HJ

        i am under 40, which means that when i read “STP”, i immediately think “Stone Temple Pilots.”

        toe-may-tow / tow-mah-toe.

        i get what you’re saying though, and i appreciate all your ranting.

      • yourscreenplaysucks

        I’ve looked in every corner of the Internet I can find, and nowhere can I find the STP (a gasoline additive) commercial to the tune of “Carmen”… one of the great ones when I was a kid. It’s horrifying how I can still remember the words, and we didn’t have a television.

        STP, you need some STP…
        One little can, that’s all you need…
        Smoother, cleaner, quieter, longer toooooooo…
        The Racer’s Edge was made for YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU.

        That Bizet, he could write a catchy tune. Stayed with me for thirty years, anyway

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