Right. Some first impressions and tangential ideas of the new Adrift plot:
- The idea of dwindling food is great, and also could be important, because his previous lifestyle involved taking food for granted. Maybe he got his groceries delivered to his door/ordered takeout a lot, to reinforce the idea that food was something that just appeared at his door on command. Once at sea, at first he just binges through everything, and then starts getting hungry. When there’s no food left, he has to start thinking. Maybe he tries fishing but has no idea what to do. Then he discovers a box of vegetables that he overlooked, and about to scoff it all, suddenly realises that the better option is to plant it all. This is a significant moment of change in his character. Now he tends his garden scrupulously – growing hungrier by the day but placing hope that he will soon start to reap sustainable rewards.
- Could be that he drives out of his garage to work every morning. Then when he drives out one day and the house is no longer attached to the mainland, he drives straight into the sea. But walking into the sea works just as well for the gag. This is just a different approach that occurred to me, not necessarily a better one.
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- Ok, getting more tangential now: The 9am to 5pm stuck in the rat-race, daily grind theme is very common, maybe even overdone? Is it totally necessary here? What if he’s just a technology junkie? Can’t live without his phone, never needed to learn anything because he could always Google it.
- Is there some extra motivation for getting back home? Love interest, family, something he specifically needs technology for maybe… etc. That way if he comes to accept his situation/deal with living out at sea, he still has a reason for returning. This would also make it harder for him to pick between the two styles of living once he returns.
- This train of thought led me to a different approach to the story. Feel free to rip it to shreds or ignore.
I was also trying to think of this along the lines of Pixar’s formula:
Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.
“once upon a time…”
Our hero lives in his mother’s basement, a total technology-reliant WOW geek with no social skills.
“and every day…”
He eats junk food at his computer desk, playing games, watching movies, and laughing at cat GIFs. Now of course, no nerd’s story is complete without a love interest. Our hero has online friends, and one of them is a girl with a cute profile picture etc etc. So every day, he tries to sum up the courage to ask her out but deletes the message after typing it without every sending. Cliche, but hey, it’s the first iteration – just a brain vomit.
“and then one day…”
He finally sums up the courage to send that message, in the early hours of one morning. He’s done it! He shuts off the computer and goes to sleep, eagerly anticipating a response. Next morning, he takes out the trash (his one chore, set by his mum) and walks right into the sea (except in this version, half the house breaks off and drifts away, since his mum lives in the other half).
“and because of that…”
Cue the rest of the current story, except now he REALLY wants to get his internet back so he can find out what she said. We can also really play up the total n00b skills he has towards anything real life/non-technology, since it’s all he’s ever known.
Eventually our hero becomes super awesome at not being a nerd, and maybe even starts to write notes to the girl in bottles and send them adrift in the ocean hoping they reach her.
On returning, a new man, our hero finds an old reply saying “hey, sure, let’s meet up.” So he goes to meet the love of his life, and knocks on her door. She opens it, and turns out to be batshit insane. There are cats everywhere, and she believes in the power of shakras and inspirational slogans. Maybe she also hates our hero’s favourite game (WOW or whatever).
Well shit, that didn’t turn out well. Our hero trudges off despondently, back to his basement, but…another random girl walks up with a shy smile, holding one of the bottles he set adrift with a message ages ago….and The End.
Hopefully there’s some food for thought somewhere in there. The point of this tangent was that it would be good if he has something to live for or drive him to go back. It could even just be his family – his mother living in the other part of the house. Or maybe she was the one who orchestrated the whole thing – it’s her way of making him going through a coming-of-age journey.
He’s be pissed if he found out though.