[Quick Summary: When three military men return home from the war, it's an uncomfortable readjustment for all.]
Once upon a time, I covered a spec script where the writer insisted on three plots: A, B, and C.
Since no plot overlapped, the story was mammoth.
I was always confused and at a loss what to recommend since the writer refused to consider subplots or any consolidation.
Is it possible to give multiple plots equal time, and still be one cohesive story? I would've said no... until I read this script.
Here, there are three distinct plots A, B & C, but it is amazingly cohesive.
The keys are:
- The 3 main characters are facing the same issue (readjusting to home life after the war)
- The 3 men meet up periodically and interact
- Two plots eventually intertwine
- When it is A's story, B & C are supporting cast. When it's B's story, A & C support him.
WHAT I'VE LEARNED: Multiple plots ARE possible...if they are all related somehow.
I underestimated the power of unity to help the audience follow along. ex. Each soldier had a different problem, but they were unified because they were misunderstood by civilians.
[BTW, this script holds up well and is still applicable even though it's 66 yrs. old!]
Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
by Robert E. Sherwood
From the novel by Mackinley Cantor