Figuring Out the “Why?”

The screenplay I’m working on is coming along fairly well.  For a day or two, everything flows beautifully and then I discover a crinkle in the storyline. 

It’s the “why” that always stumps me. 

Why is he going back to see his family?  No one died.  No one is getting married.  He hasn’t been back in years, so why now?  I have the catalyst that makes him need the escape, but not the reason as to why he chooses to go home instead of elsewhere.   I’ve been brainstorming and came up with two solid ideas, but now each of those determines what time of year it is, which in turn will affect some of the scenes I have played out.  Spring or Fall.  Right before Easter (culminating on Easter Sunday) or before Halloween (culminating on Halloween).  So he decides to escape and hightail it home because his family has a huge get-together for the town’s spring festival (or Oktoberfest).  Honestly, both scenarios would provide plenty of entertainment.  I thought tapping it out might help me in deciding which direction to go, but it’s not helping yet. 

Am I over-thinking it?  Should I just “eenie-meenie-miney-moe” it and worry about the details and changes later during rewrite?  I know I need to let go and just get the story out of my heart and onto the page, and then let my head fix the mess after I have an actual mess to fix.  So much easier said than done. 


Back to brainstorming.  If anyone has run into this problem and has a suggestion, let me know!

… I think I’m leaning toward spring.  Spring festival two weeks prior to Easter.  Two week time frame for this story is better.  I think… 



2 thoughts on “Figuring Out the “Why?”

  1. Oh screenplays. The “why” is always the hardest. It’s good that you can ask yourself that question though – there’s nothing worse than going to an editor and having them ask you that question, only for you to discover that you didn’t even think about that and have no response….


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