The Open Window (Final)

My protagonist, in essence, wants to escape, so the new title, I hope, has metaphoric value.

Anyone interested in exchanging reads, please let me know.

* * *

7/24 - UPDATED -- Logline and Final Draft


7/15 -- UPDATED -- 2nd Draft


(7/17 -- more minor revisions made)

(7/16 -- made a minor revision to draft)

I think I made it clearer that the train scene is a dream.  Also, I tried to foreshadow Margaret's fate.  My goal at the end is for the reader to be surprised and yet feel a sense of inevitability. 

There's enough time for another rewrite, so feel free to give a no holds barred review.

I still can't find a way to get Final Draft 7 to include the title page.  I'm using Windows 8.

I like the ambiguity on this woman's face.  Perhaps getting married isn't the end all and be all.

6/25 -- UPDATED -- 1st Draft


Hopefully, I'll be able to do a couple more drafts before the deadline, so the more critical you are, the better.

6/24 -- UPDATED -- Beat sheet


I've chosen to adapt Margaret Fuller Slack from Spoon River Anthology.

I WOULD have been as great as George Eliot/
But for an untoward fate./
For look at the photograph of me made by Penniwit,/
Chin resting on hand, and deep -- set eyes --/
Gray, too, and far-searching./
But there was the old, old problem:/
Should it be celibacy, matrimony or unchastity?/
Then John Slack, the rich druggist, wooed me,/
Luring me with the promise of leisure for my novel,/
And I married him, giving birth to eight children,/
And had no time to write,/
It was all over with me, anyway,/
When I ran the needle in my hand/
While washing the baby's things,/
And died from lock--jaw, an ironical death./
Hear me, ambitious souls,/
Sex is the curse of life. 

I want to explore the disconnect between her dreams and her reality.  I'm going to take liberty and make her wish to be Mary Cassatt, instead of George Eliot. 


I was initially planning to show her life, but realize -- after watching lesson 5 -- that this is not a good idea.  I'm going to have to think of one or two moments from her life to dramatize. 


Beat Sheet

* Margaret's room.  Takes wedding dress out of closet, looks longingly at paint box in corner.

* Cemetery.  Margaret goes here to think.  Her mother visits her, tells her it's unbecoming for her to be here.  Margaret ask why she needs the approval of others to do what she wants.  Her mother, knowing she has cold feet about her upcoming marriage, tells her marriage won't curtail her dream of being a painter. 

* Margaret's house.  Her wedding day.  John Slack, her fiance, and others wait nervously.  Margaret's mother goes to her room -- Margaret's gone.

* Train station.  John meets Margaret there and tries to convince her to go through with the marriage.

* Train.  Margaret, seated alone, leaves town.  She takes a Mary Cassatt art book out of her luggage and looks at it.  The sound of a baby crying is heard. 

* Home.  Margaret, 10 years older, looks up from the same book.  She hurries to a bedroom.  All eight of her children (ages 1 to 9) are lying down for naps.  Her one-year-old is crying.  She rushes to it, hoping to calm it before all eight of children are awake.  The walls of the room are sparsely decorated -- and none of the decorations are paintings. 


New logline: "A woman's dream of being the next Mary Cassatt is pitted against the strictures and conventions of the early 20th century."

Old logline: "A woman's dream of being the next Mary Cassatt is threatened by her impending marriage."

Not quite how I envision Spoon River, circa the 1910s, but it's the closest to it I could find.



Please sign in or sign up to comment.