Since our last stream was on Christmas, what better way to celebrate than by writing our own cheesy Hallmark Channel Christmas movie?
And of course, there’s an auto-generator for that!
Here’s what we got for our roll-your-eyes-but-you’ll-probably-watch-it-anyway Christmas movie plot: “The protagonist is an out-of-work actor who is forced to move back in with their parents. The love interest is a snowman magically brought to life. They work together to throw the demanding mayor’s massive holiday party (and fall in love in the process).”
Needless to say, this plot excited me. After getting some suggestions and votes from the chat, we were off. Here’s what we wrote:
Building a snowman outside was Jeff’s only escape from the hellish Christmas party inside his parent’s house. He’d spent the past year after graduation looking for a job in New York. There were plenty of openings at third-rate restaurants and the smelly fish-guttery above his one room basement apartment, but nothing in the field he’d majored in and had devoted his life to: acting. At every theater, it was the same story – too many actors, too few jobs. And that included jobs that didn’t even pay.
So the last thing Jeff wanted to do was to be around all twenty-eight members of his extended family, being grilled by everyone from Uncle Rob to Aunt Gertrude to his five-year-old nephew Tommy about what his career plans were for the future. Even Mr. Burdles, the mayor of his childhood town, was there, ready to put his arm around Jeff’s shoulders, give him a good shake, and start requesting songs (even though he knew Jeff didn’t do musical theater), just like he’d always done since Jeff was eight.
Instead of dealing with all that trauma, Jeff mumbled a vague excuse, put on his boots, crunched through the snow out to the backyard, and started building a snowman.
Or, in this case, a snow-woman.
Jeff had never built a snow-woman before. But why not? It’s not like it was more difficult or anything.
In order to make a snow-woman, Jeff decided to forego the usual top hat and cork pipe, and instead went with a fluffy winter hat with one of those puffy pink balls at the end. He snuck back inside for a quick trip to the closet to grab his older sister’s Ugg boots that she hadn’t worn since high school, and slapped them on the bottom snow-sphere. After adding some pine needles for eyelashes, and a few holly berries for rosy cheeks, it was complete.
In fact, it reminded him of someone. Jeff reached into his winter coat pocket and pulled out the purple and pink scarf that his ex girlfriend Isabelle had given to him. He’d been so embarrassed at the time, and had laughed and said there was no way he’d ever wear such a thing in public. But now that she was gone, he’d never take it off it that meant she’d come back.
But he knew that wouldn’t happen. Isabelle had left him because he had no job, no prospects, and lived in a one-room basement closet that reeked of fish guts. It was time to say goodbye to her and her scarf. He wrapped it around the snow-woman’s neck, and stepped back to take a look.
“Not bad,” Jeff said to the snow-woman. “If you lost a few pounds of snow, you’d look just like her.”
“Oh yeah?” the snow-woman sassed back. “If you lost a few pounds, then maybe… oh wait, you already did lose a few pounds when your brain disappeared to make you say something stupid like that.”
Honestly I’m quite happy with the beginning of our made-for-TV movie. It grounds the reader by answering “who, what, when and where” very quickly, and it gives three answers to “why (should I keep reading?).” (1) Jeff is a pretty relatable character and we want to see what happens to him, (2) we want to see how he builds a snow-woman, and (3) oh my god she came to life! What happens next?
For those interested, and because I couldn’t stop my brain, here’s what would happen in the rest of the story if we had time to finish:
Snowsabelle (the name of the snow-woman, obviously) scares Jeff back inside, where the mayor drunkenly demands that Jeff sings at the town’s Christmas celebration. Jeff tries to refuse, but he can’t, and he spends the next day practicing singing outside. Snowsabelle hears him, and after overcoming his fear of the talking snow-woman, the two of them bond and she teaches him how to sing (because snow-woman magic or something).
The day of the party Jeff puts on a great performance, and a talent scout just happens to be there, who hires Jeff. Jeff runs to tells Snowsabelle the good news afterward, but she’s melted away, leaving behind only the scarf and Uggs. Jeff decides to call his ex and try to patch things up.
Wow, what a great movie. I’d give it a C for Christmas, cheesy, and confusing-as-all-hell… in a heartwarming way.
After that we moved on to the writing prompt, and we decided on this one by Prezombie: “After filling the bird feeder with a new “experimental blend”, you start noticing the small wildlife behaving oddly. They’re all carrying tiny spears, and the trees are getting all covered in small carved depictions of you and your pets.”
Of course, it being Christmas, we had to put a holiday spin on the topic, which ended up making it even more interesting. Thanks to the chat’s suggestions, I think we ended up with a pretty great story.
If you want to join us and help write a story by trolling in chat, or share your own writing for feedback, then we’d love to have you. We stream on Twitch every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday at 7:30pm-9:30pm (U.S. Eastern Standard Time).
And you missed the stream, you can still watch it here on rerun until Twitch deletes it.
Hope to see you next time, friend!
Featured image: GAHAG