Writing the Step Outline

Here’s a step outline for my script.

1. EXT. BOOK STORE – DAY
MICHAEL WOOD steps out of the bookstore, locks the door behind him. He quickly reads through something written on a piece of paper he’s holding, folds it up carefully, puts it in his inside jacket pocket.

2. EXT. GROCERY STORE – DAY
Michael peers through the shop window, looks around nervously, pulls the door open and steps inside.

3. INT. GROCERY STORE, ENTRANCE – DAY
Michael stands inside the doorway. He fiddles with something in his inside jacket pocket. He looks nervous, sweaty. Determination on his face, he walks towards the counter, behind which stands KRISTI CONNOLLY.

4. INT. GROCERY STORE, COUNTER – DAY
Another Customer – MARGE BRACKLEY – steps in front of the counter, a basket full of groceries to ring up. Michael turns away, stride broken.

5. INT. GROCERY STORE, MEDICINE COUNTER – DAY
Michael absent-mindedly picks up and returns things in the medicine counter, one hand in his jacket pocket, fiddling. Kristi calls out asking if she can help – he’s holding some adult incontinence pants. He turns, drops the packet, shocked at the sound of his name.

6. INT. GROCERY STORE, COUNTER – DAY
Marge asks if he’s okay – he seems sweaty and nervous. Michael fiddles with whatever is in his pocket, tells Kristi he needs to talk to her, a glance towards Marge indicating he wants it to be private.

7. INT. GROCERY STORE, COUNTER – DAY
Marge is about to leave when JOHN BLAKE barges in to the shop. Ignoring Michael, he tells Kristi he needs something from behind the counter. Kristi tells him to wait his turn. He walks behind to counter to get it himself. Marge tells him he can’t do that, to which he replies that he’s Kristi’s boyfriend – he can do whatever he likes. Michael almost collapses hearing this. He staggers towards the door of the shop.

8. INT. GROCERY STORE, ENTRANCE – DAY
Michael hears Kristi tell John he has to pay for what he took from behind the counter, but John tells her to pay for him. She refuses. He tells her to ask her other boyfriend for the money instead then. Michael turns, sees they’re talking about him. He opens his mouth to say something about the way John’s talking to Kristi. John approaches him, daring him to say anything. Michael’s sweating – looks a real state. He puts his hand inside his jacket pocket. Marge screams that Michael’s got a gun. John backs off, Michael moves towards the door of the shop, his back to it.

9. INT. GROCERY STORE, ENTRANCE – DAY
Another Customer tries to enter the store, but the door bashes against Michael. Michael pushes it shut, panicking, turns the sign on the door to read “CLOSED”, locks the door, slumps down against it.

10. INT. GROCERY STORE, ENTRANCE – DAY
John asks Michael what the plan is. There isn’t one. Kristi tries telling Michael that he should let everyone go. Michael looks like he’s about to, but then John pipes up and says he’s got plans for Kristi that night – if you know what I mean. This infuriates Michael further, so he tells everyone to go in to the supply closet.

11. INT. GROCERY STORE, SUPPLY CLOSET – EVENING
It’s warm in the closet. Marge starts coughing badly. John tells Michael to get her a drink from the water refrigerator.

12. INT. GROCERY STORE, CHILLED DRINKS – EVENING
Michael browses the drinks, pulls out a large bottle of water. He checks how much money he has on him, puts the bottle back and takes a cheaper one. John takes the opportunity to attack Michael from behind – hits him hard across the head, dropping him to the ground.

13. INT. GROCERY STORE, CHILLED DRINKS – EVENING
John goes through Michael’s pockets – pulls out a piece of paper from his inside jacket pocket, flings it to the side. There’s nothing else in there. Nothing but a set of keys in his other pockets. John frowns. There’s no gun.

14. INT. GROCERY STORE, FROZEN SECTION – EVENING
Kristi says to call the police. John says he wants to teach Michael a lesson. He empties a large freezer of ice cream, shoves Michael in there. Marge tries to leave, but John stops her, in the process knocks down Kristi, gives her a nasty cut on the forehead.

15. INT. GROCERY STORE, FROZEN SECTION – EVENING
Michael comes around. Panics when he realises he’s stuck in a freezer. Then he notices Kristi is hurts. John tells him to worry about himself, not her.

16. INT. GROCERY STORE, BATHROOM – EVENING
Kristi goes to the bathroom. She secretly calls the police.

17. INT. GROCERY STORE, FROZEN SECTION – EVENING
Michael notices the piece of paper John threw on the ground. John notices Michael noticing. Sees it’s addressed to Kristi. He reads it, holds it out to Michael and tells him to read it out loud. The freezer door keeps steaming up, so Michael has to keep wiping it as he reads his love letter to Kristi.

18. INT. GROCERY STORE, CONDIMENTS AISLE – EVENING
Kristi returns, and John tells her the whole situation is because of her. He tells Michael to tell Kristi about his undying love for her. Michael refuses, so John forces him to eat red-hot chilli sauces.

19. INT. GROCERY STORE, ENTRANCE – EVENING
POLICE arrive. Michael, exhausted, spent, tells everyone to leave, but John stops them from going anywhere, saying Michael needs to tell Kristi what’s in the note first.

20. INT. GROCERY STORE, ENTRANCE – EVENING
Michael relents. Tells Kristi he’s in love with her. John says now they can go – and Michael needs to grow a pair, face up to his actions and hand himself in to the police.

21. EXT. GROCERY STORE – EVENING
Michael steps outside the shop, the others following, everyone with hands above their heads. Police rush towards them.

22. EXT. GROCERY STORE – EVENING
Michael tells the police it was John holding them hostage – shows his bruises and chaffed wrists to prove it. John is handcuffed, despite shouting protests of innocence.

23. EXT. GROCERY STORE, BACK OF AN AMBULANCE – EVENING
As her injury is dealt with, Kristi corroborates Michael’s story to the police. Over John’s protestations, Kristi tells him he should grow a pair and face up to his actions.

24. EXT. GROCERY STORE – EVENING
Marge also corroborates Michael’s story, hands him the note for Kristi. Michael passes it to her to read, but Kristi throws it away, takes his hand in hers and kisses him.

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