In the past, Ed Video has set a criteria for their writing competitions. I really like that format as I find having a writing prompt and limitations forces me to work more creatively. I spend as much time working out how to satisfy the limitations as I do how to subvert them. I was worried when this challenge was open ended that it would slow down my process.

That worry was entirely unnecessary.

I’ve had a writing prompt around for a couple weeks now. It’s very nearly nothing at all, just a little bit of dialogue that I had no context for at all. Something I tucked away in a file for just such an occasion.

You’re going back, aren’t you?

I’d also recently seen a quick video about editing and transitions in Satoshi Kon’s films. I’d been a fan of both Paprika and Paranoia Agent, but I’m not an anime fan and didn’t really know much about Kon’s work. This lead to Ohayo.

It’s a simple, but beautiful and elegant film. All of these things brought me to thinking, somewhat obviously, about compression of time and transitions across those seams. As soon as I start thinking about time it leads to time travel. Within all of this I wanted to tell a heartbreaking love story.

By the time I collected all of this together and processed I had some pretty clear criteria I wanted to fulfil.

  • maximum 10 pages
  • utilizing the dialogue “You’re going back, aren’t you.”
  • compression of time, transitioning smoothly using characters, actions, or dialogue to tie transitions together
  • incorporating time travel
  • while telling a convincing love story
  • that ends in heartbreak

My first draft is done. I’ve hit all of those points, but it remains to be seen how successful I’ve been.