A to Z 2016 · Creative Exercises

H is for Henry

Today’s prompt is pretty simple (again, with an unknown origin):

Plot a movie in 5 minutes! Just answer the questions about Henry in one sentence or less.


It’s a pretty basic plotting exercise, but I fought with it quite a bit. It leaves things almost too open; so many ways you can take it, and I had too many directions I thought about going that it was almost debilitating.

This has resulted in, what I think is, a very-not-blockbuster movie plot. It’s definitely a comedy, but until it’s written in it’s entirety, it’s hard to say what kind of comedy — romantic? semi-raunchy? dark? family-oriented?

I’ll leave figuring that out to another day.


Henry and the Game Show

How old is Henry? 27.
How does Henry make a living? A depressed, quiet middle school math teacher.
What does Henry want that he is unlikely to get?  He would like to have his first girlfriend.
What does Henry secretly want that he is unlikely to get? More than anything, Henry is obsessed with game shows and wants to get on a show and win big.
What is Henry most afraid of? He is afraid of never being in love with someone.
What is Henry secretly afraid of? He is very much afraid of his overbearing, loud, demanding principal.
Now, it so happens that one day, much to Henry’s surprise, the very real possibility arises that he could get what he has always wanted. How does this happen? (one sentence or less) After years of trying and entering show after show, Henry is informed he’s made it into the potential contestant pool of his favorite game show.
What might be an obstacle to his getting this? His principal thinks it’s stupid and laughs at him and won’t let him take the time off to go to the tryout, so Henry needs to trick him into letting him go.
What might be yet another obstacle? His piece-of-junk car has broken down and he needs to either get it fixed by a mechanic who treats him like an halfwit, or somehow finagle other means of transportation in a hurry.
And a third obstacle? Henry meets the girl of his dreams at the tryouts and flubs his audition.
Then, what happens? Does he finally get what he wants, or something else? Henry knows he has failed his tryout, and he asks the girl out on a date and she says yes.
In the end, how has Henry’s life changed (or not changed)? He has fallen in love.
How does Henry feel about this? Henry is content, and no longer needs the validation of winning a game show, he’s found love instead.
What is the last image you would leave on the movie screen before the credits roll? His mail comes through the mail slot, and his new girlfriend picks it up, seeing a letter from the game show addressed to Henry. She looks straight at the camera. Will he get the letter?


3 thoughts on “H is for Henry

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