It was one of those opening scenes that begin with a description of the weather. Well, it would have done if the writer had decided what it was he was going to write. He hadn’t had a decent idea for weeks… months.
The blank pages had stared back at him each morning, daring him to deface their pristine whiteness with yet another heap of words that said nothing and went nowhere.
He’d thought, before that first paragraph, that he could start a story, a scene of that story at least, this morning with a fine spring dawn, before deciding that would be too optimistic, almost tempting the bucolic summer.
No, he needed the drama of a cold bleak winter landscape with shrouded figures trudging through the snow. The figures hunched against the winds that threw the blizzard sharp into their pale faces as they made their way to…
Well, somewhere or other, and for reasons he’d get around to eventually.
On the other hand, that bucolic summer could go somewhere. It could be the background to a picnic in the woods, or a day at the beach. He thought about those days at the beach. Jaws, now that had made some serious sales, serious money. Not forgetting a film or three, or four… however many it was. That bloke Peter… thing… he’d struck gold with that one.
Maybe the family… or better, a young couple having a picnic in the woods.
Did people still picnic?
Or was that too old fashioned?
It was hard to imagine a youth of today lugging a picnic basket through the woods. They’d probably use their mobiles to order a takeaway pizza to the clearing in the woods.
Then the monster driven wild by the smell of the pepperoni would crash through the trees and…
Did monster books still sell?
He maybe would be better off if the picnic was some sort of zany eccentric episode from some rom-com. They still did good business, didn’t they? There were some authors doing all right with those love stories that start out awkwardly, somehow stumble into a sort of relationship, then the bloke does something stupid and buggers it up.
Then, as time runs out, one of them is running through the city, down to the train station, across the airport, as the other is leaving forever, forlornly taking one final look at the life they are leaving behind, only to see the real true love of their life leaping over the ticket barrier… or whatever.
But how to get them from the picnic, which starts out as a disaster but gets better? Maybe the other way around would work instead? It all starts great, then goes to buggery, only to reverse into that final clinch in some doorway out of their magical world, bringing the protagonists back together for the final credits and the last tissue, glass of wine, or chocolate, of the film.
He could do that…
But he still needed to come up with something. Maybe the weather thing could work. A sort of overview wide shot, then narrowing to the couple walking through the woods, one trying to convince the sceptical other that a picnic even in this cynical day and age would be a good idea.
How old was Hugh Grant these days, was he past it now or not?
He’d have to check.