So I am finally coming back to my coming of age story The Years Between. I am writing it as a screenplay. I have a few friends in the film industry but I keep coming back to this, I want to finish it.
So here is the Act and Plot Point Breakdown as instructed in "How To Write A Selling Screenplay" by Christopher Keane
The Years Between starts off with a high school reunion for the class of 1999. The class's more popular members, return and remember their childhood spent together. We began with Sonny Walkermen (nicknamed Sony Walkmen, for what he always had on his person) the less popular and neglected of the main group standing at what was known as The Stump-a large Douglas Fir Stump that sits on the bluff eagerly awaiting the return of his classmates.
The second member to return of the group is Erin Rosenberg, a highly skilled mission specialist for NASA, who runs into Chad Wilkes, on a ferry boat that is taking them to Whidbey Island, their hometown. They decide to share a room for the weekend, but they both have sore spots as far as their own pasts is concerned.
The story flashes back to the summer of 1992. Chad has just moved to the island, and meets a group of kids including Erin and Sonny, Erin is tomboyish and sassy, and is constantly with her "boyfriend" Travis White, Leader of the group is Peter Prince a trouble maker, and sort of bullier. Next in command, is James Wright, not as edged as Peter, and his little sister Jessica whom annoyingly tags along, even though they are a year apart in age. James repeatably shuns her from the gang. Yet she immediately bonds with Chad.
Years pass, and the bonds between the group grow very strong. The become a strong circle of friends with camp outs, adventures, and around town and school grounds, they are always together.
That is until another new kid moves to town, the villain of the story, Carson Wells.
It is 1995, and the gang is now approaching the end of Junior High. Carson bonds well with James, Peter and Travis, but Chad immediately doesn't trust them, and although the four of them decide to get high with Carson on a weekend, at the protest of Erin and Jessica, Chad quickly backs out, yet as the drugs move from pot to cocaine, to Meth, Travis and James become more and more dependent. Peter sides with Chad, and the innocence begins to fade.
After a first kiss at a 8Th grade Dance, Chad and Jessica become boyfriend and girlfriend and their romance blossoms. Yet he feels helpless, because not only is Jessica being abused by her parents, but now her brother, once Chad's good friend is now starting on her too. Erin is feeling betrayed as well by Travis, as the drugs posses him and make him a different person. So the group torn apart by Carson's ways, heads into high school.
Plot Point I
Now with a drivers license, Chad drops off Jessica at her house, to see a very drugged out James waiting. He scoffs at Chad and grabs Jessica by the arm, and tells Chad never to see her again. Chad loses his grandfather, whom he was very close too.
The next day at school, after talking to Jessica in the hall, Chad is jumped by Carson, James and Travis, and he is put into the hospital. Peter watches this, and is later torn apart by guilt. Jessica even confronts him on why he didn't stand up for Chad, Sonny who has become a loner in the school watched on, but also felt guilty. Erin is so appalled by Travis actions she merely goes inside herself, shutting out her peers, even Jessica her best friend.
Back in the present, Erin and Chad reunite with Peter, who is now a football coach for the High School. He is very glad to see them, and asked if they are married, the laugh but can't hide that there is a romantic inkling between them. While going out to a coffee shop the three of them run into Sonny, although its not so much as a surprise to Peter, since it is Sonny's coffee shop, and the group reunites again, leaving the question of what happened to James Jessica and Travis. . .
Back into the past, it is now the Junior year, 1998 and Jessica is pregnant, although Chad is shocked, he insists she not get an abortion that they will find a way to make it work, although Chad has a scholarship to Harvard.
Travis and James continue sinking into their drugged abyss, getting in and out of juvenile hall, with the help of Carson. Erin remains depressed and quiet and reports to Jessica that Travis is not very sexually active with her and that he is hiding, but she doesn't think he is cheating. "He is not my best friend anymore, I don't know what happened to him" She says.
Peter after working out walks into the locker room and makes a startling discovery: Travis and James kiss passionately with each other, naked in the showers. He runs out of site just before they notice him, but doesn't know how to tell the others.
Chad is the only one Peter can tell, and Chad like Peter says it would be best not to tell Erin, as he has noticed cuts on her wrists and is already worried about her personal safety.
Secrecy is very thick now between everyone.
PLOT POINT II
With their Senior year approaching, there a senior bonfire party in the woods, most of the class attends, however working on a late project, Chad tells Jessica she will met him there later, as the party gets underway however, a bad storm hits. At the party James calls out of one of the many tents for Jessica, and drugged up apologizes for beating up her boyfriend, Carson asks what she is doing at a Senior party, since she is just a junior, she angrily defies him and tells him "Its none of your fucking concern"
Meanwhile, Travis is freaking out on a bad high, and wants to leave, Jessica sees this and tries to stop him, he slams her down hard and says how beautiful she is, and when she denies him, he demands that she drive him home or else, pulling a gun on her, Peter sees this and immediately heads over to Erin's house to tell them.
Driving down the road, a tree falls right in front of Travis' car and Jessica swerves to avoid it, the Jeep tumbles down into a steep ravine, and tragically neither Travis or Jessica survive.
Peter, Erin, and Chad arrive at the right time to witness the horror, and directly behind them is Carson and James, Chad, out of pure anger grabs Peter's bat out of his truck, and busts Carson's window trying to get to him. This is all your fault He screams, "If you never came here we would all be fine! Yet Peter holds him back before he do some serious harm to Carson.
In the present, eyes are wet remembering that fateful night. Peter pours some more salt in the wound by adding that James died the previous summer of an overdose. Carson was sent to prison shorty after high school for murder. Sonny, wonders how the school will react to the absence of James, since he was well known on the island, and that few that attended the high school remain on the island.
That night, Chad tells Erin what Peter told him years ago about Travis and James, she laughs at first, for she thinks it was some joke, but the memories surrounded her past finally surface and she asks Chad why in the hell she wanted to come back, they embrace, and for the last time we return to
1999 two weeks before graduation. Erin and Chad are walking the beach. She asked him if he is going to still go to Princeton he nods, and asked her what she wants to do, She said she wants to invent time travel, go back in time and stop Carson from coming into their lives. He nearly laughs at the impracticality, but understands. He leans in to kiss her and she responds angrily, "I'm not Jessica" He fires back with "Well I am not Travis, so you don't have to shut me out. With this she walks back to her car.
At the graduation ceremony, a post rehab James is given the duty of a speech, behind him his class sits with one chair belonging to Travis decked out with Roses. Carson is absent, but in his speech he explains the socialism of high school and how far people go to be popular or just to fit in, and how trivial it really is. Everyone throws their caps
Sonny, Peter, Erin and Chad are all at the stump, looking at the place where they carved their own initials in the Summer of 92' Erin lays flowers down.
6 years later, Chad and Erin move into his Grandfathers old place. They have a kid of their own, now and walk him to the bus stop. There are other neighborhood kids waiting there, looking at him with interest. Erin looks at Chad and smiles as the cycle of The Years Between child and adult start again.
crossposted into theyearsbetween