EXT. GARAGE - DAY
The open door of the garage is a black hole in the blinding sun. The READER, talented, imaginative, determined but inexperienced, warily approaches.
A huge storyboard consumes the center of the garage. The legs and feet of an AGELESS MAN extend from under the board. They twitch as he works. Soft swearing, unintelligible.
Silence, the legs still.
The gravelly voice startles the Reader.
"You're blocking my light. If you're coming in, come in."
The Reader coughs nervously, checks over his shoulder, cautiously steps into the unknown.
INT. GARAGE - DAY
The Reader takes a deep breath, gazes around the room. Clean. Empty, but for the board.
"I was told you might be able to help me with my writing."
"Drop the exposition. I know why you're here. What's it about?"
The Reader, nervous, shifts his weight, struggles for words.
"It's about... well, a guy that loses his motivation and--"
"Never mind the sales pitch. What's the theme?"
"Oh, love is the theme."
"Love's a word, not a theme. Love stinks. That's a theme."
The Ageless Man rolls out from under the board, looks at the Reader with clear green eyes, not unkindly.
"What is it you want?"
The Reader glances out the door, into the blinding light.
"There's so much conflict. So many people pointing in different directions."
He looks back at the Ageless Man with pained confusion. The Ageless Man meets his gaze.
"Conflict is the fuel of your story, but an obstacle to your writing."
"One person tells me to plan out each act, calculate each plot point, do biographies of each character... Someone else says go with the flow, write whatever I feel, worry about the rest after I have a draft. I just don't know which approach to follow."
The Ageless Man stares at him compassionately. A small smile.
"The one that works. There are a hundred ways to build a mousetrap. In the end, the trap has to meet certain requirements. Most importantly, it has to catch mice."
"Can you teach me?"
"I can, if you are willing to learn."