The Power of Yesterday

(original post Feb. 2019)

"Make it EPIC!" Kevin added just before he hung up the phone...

His request was simply to write another screenplay, something based on history, and make it…yeah, you saw that.


Of course, I immediately turned to history and found a story that stopped me in my tracks. I could see the events play out in my mind, hear the voices of the characters, smell the 19th century!

THIS is the one, I thought as my heart began to pound (it’s a very common reaction when I know I’ve found a story that truly resonates). Immediately, I snatched up my index cards and began the process of noting details that had to be included in my story.

This will be an epic story!

Then it happened. History halted everything — put the plug in the dike, as it were, and stopped the flow of ideas that had poured into my head only moments ago. A question bubbled to the surface, one that I’d hope wouldn’t show up at all:

Is history enough to be epic?

The saying, “Truth is stranger than fiction” gives hope. From my vantage point, truth is definitely stranger than fiction.

Think of the days of the gladiators. Spartacus is a hero because of the tales birthed from that time (chariot racing took on a new type of “coolness” too).

What about the “Dancing Plague?” I’ll bet you’ve never heard of that one before, but it really happened in the early 1300s:

Also known as ‘St Vitus’s Dance’, choreomania was a truly bizarre medieval phenomenon from central Europe. It involved spontaneous and continuous dancing by crowds of people until they collapsed through exhaustion – or worse, died. 

History Extra (online)

Still, the question remains, is this enough to make a story epic? I’m curious – what do you think?

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