The B Story

 

What gives a feature length film depth and a three-dimensional character?

The B Story: In screenwriting, a subplot is referred to as a “B story” or a “C story.” Often, the B story is a love story or romance.

“Set a course for adventure…” and discover the subplot in Peace Lily “Welcome aboard its love.”

 

I apologize in advance for the abrupt departure from Fantasy Island. However, our plane will be landing in reality. This love story happens on the job during the worst time of the protagonist’s life and with an unlikely character. Does this sound familiar?

Peace Lily is a comedic tale of how young Sophia overcomes self-doubt and stubborn pride when forced to transverse a minefield of vipers and shady characters on her first job. While the main story focuses on the protagonist accomplishing an externalized goal the B story brings the secondary character, love interest, into focus in a way that dovetails with the “A” story. A shift in the B story often allows the protagonist to accomplish their goal.

In previous posts, we learned about changes or major turning points i.e. the Midpoint (Inner Revelations Guide her), Plot Point II and the Subplot. These aspects of love demonstrated the inner experiences of the protagonist. (Scroll through “Projects” to find these posts)

In the B story, the love interest represents the outer manifestation of the protagonist’s experience. She meets the love interest at the Midpoint and unbeknownst to her will act as a saving grace to her dilemma. The second shift occurs at Plot Point II, and of course, the climax includes the love interest as well. Remember, writing subplots is part of writing three-dimensional characters and creating a more compelling, fleshed-out story.

 

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The Brand StoryHome

…is in honor and memory of Tessa, my small Maltese born October 6, 1993, and passed away September 18, 2009.

I was considered the 3rd dog in Tessa’s pack. Her first master was the first dog, Tessa was the second dog, and I was the third dog. No matter what I’d do to gain respect or position in Tessa’s eyes… I was “ the third dog.” She was so adorable and such a character. I caved to her demands…and she was very demanding…which brought me joy and contentment. Her demands were begging for food and sitting on my lap.

Tessa had a few quirky personality traits based on her past…growing up in a less than ideal environment thrown into the backyard with two Dobermans to fend for herself. She was about 3 pounds at that time the runt and a spitfire. Not far from being a replica of me….she made me smile with joy at her attitude.

Quite the problem solver

She also liked mischief and got herself into some severe problems. Like the time she discovered chocolate candy on the coffee table and laid in wait for her moment to snatch the candy bars run upstairs and hide them under the bed until nightfall. In the middle of the night, I awoke to a banging noise. It was Tessa banging her water bowl against the metal stairs to get my attention. I soon discovered several empty candy wrappers, piles of vomit everywhere, and Tessa hitting the bowl. It is unbelievable that she survived that terrible episode eating more candy bars than I could… at one time!

Filled with inspiration

She will always be my inspiration and a reminder of perfection.

As I emerged in the second half of my journey as a storyteller, launched myself into the world of screenwriting, and left behind an entirely different phase of my life, I also had to let go of my friend…my companion my little spitfire Tessa.

I will forever be the 3rd dog.