I’ve read several dozen books on writing, and always come back to three.

The best resources for writing in my opinion are Joseph Campbell’s Hero With A Thousand Faces wherein he outlines the Monomyth or the Hero’s Journey, Aristotle’s Poetics (I prefer the Poetics for Screenwriters, which is basically Cliffnotes for people like me) and Robert McKee’s Story.

I had all three in mind while working on this scene. For Campbell, this is the Crossing of the Threshold segment of the Hero’s Journey. It’s correlations are scenes like Luke deciding to leave Tatooine behind and as he says “I want to come with you to Alderaan. There’s nothing for me here now. I want to learn the ways of the Force and become a Jedi like my father.” And when Marty McFly inadvertently going back in time, “Let’s see if you bastards can do 90.”

From Aristotle I borrowed his concept of peripeties: moments when your hero learns something which has an impact on the direction of the story.

And mostly the construction of this single scene (and what I try really hard to accomplish in every scene) is McKee’s strategy of changing the positive and negative charges of a value to create effective scenes.

What this boils down into is starting every scene with the character in either a positive or negative state, and then having them change to the opposite. So here, Charlie starts off conflicted, a bit bored, and showing a bit of resistance to making a Hitler hit piece, to being determined and enthusiastic at the end.

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