[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] The key to entertainment is drama. -Robert Ray. [/perfectpullquote]
Establishing Shots are critical in a film. They clue the viewer where this next scene is about to take place. Each time the location of a scene shifts, a new establishing shot does exactly what its name implies: it establishes where the story will now continue, and fiction writers need to do the same thing. The purpose is to give a general impression rather than specific information.
Have you ever bought a book on time management, or read a bunch of blog posts on productivity, and tried really hard to make someone’s clever system work for you? How did it go? Chances are, you ended up disappointed.
Your first choice should always be to get rid of any in-betweens that don’t advance your plot. To show your protagonist getting out of bed, showering and preparing her breakfast cereals would slow your story down ridiculously, destroy its rhythm and bore the boots off your readers.
I’d like to start this post by stating an opinion that I think pretty much everyone shares: Pacing Sucks. When you get it right, no one really notices. I mean, how many times have you read a 5-star review that went on and on about the awesome pacing?
Several years of art study are unaccounted for in the spreadsheet. But once I’d met my deadline and submitted my novel to 47North, I revisited my diary and counted the days I’d spent in China and Italy carrying out research specifically for this novel.
Do not read that last sentence as permission to stop using periods. What I mean is that grammar is a fluid construct, evolving as language and speech patterns evolve.
- The 4 Tweaks to Writing Truly Original Stories and Characters, Helping Writers Become Authors | Tweet
The process of writing original stories is shrouded in mystery.
Readers get bored if the plot appears to be predictable – ie the characters start with a goal and proceed doggedly towards it, step by step by step. This is a linear plot and it looks dead dull, like reading the syllabus for an education course, not a story. So when the characters have a clear goal at the start, we try to introduce developments that upset expectations. They’re going on the Orient Express?
When you’re writing a character, it’s important to know why she is the way she is. Knowing her backstory is important to achieving this end, and one of the most impactful pieces of a character’s backstory is her emotional wound.
We all want interesting characters. People who fascinate us. People who make readers feel intrigued. People who do more than sit in the garden and gaze at the grass. And we’ve all read books where, even if the characters aren’t spending every minute gazing at the grass, they aren’t doing much else to make the story exciting, either.
The art of character
+ Related books:
- How to write dazzling dialogue
- Writing success: Your book from start to finish to publication
- Outlining your novel
- Writing deep point of view
- The art of memoir
- Reading like a Writer
- Rock your revisions
- The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide To Character Expression
What exactly is script coverage? Is it a good thing to pay for, and how is it different from script consulting?
In Poetics, Aristotle wrote “A whole [story] is what has a beginning and middle and end.”
It starts off promisingly enough with the root word expose. A few possible meanings: “to lay open to danger, to reveal, to unmask.” That all sounds exciting.
There are those pundits who claim Aristotle is responsible for the ‘3-Act’ structure of screenplays. I have read and studied several different translations of Poetics by Aristotle, (Butcher, Bywater (rev. Schultz), Else and Heath) and reviewed chapters, articles or books by Bonnett, Bordwell, Eckler, Hartly, McManus, Tierno and others.
Figure out if your script falls into The Good, The Bad, or The Ugly, and discover the next steps to take in rewrites.
- Super Structure: The key to unleashing the power of story
- Screenplay: The foundations of screenwriting
- Essentials of screenwriting
- Screenwriting: The sequence approach
- 33 Ways to sell your screenplay
- The eight characters of comedy
The self-publishing industry has boomed over the past few years, and a recent report from Smashwords even suggests that the self-published book market has matured.
So far, I’ve had a very positive experience working with traditional publishers. I’ve learned a LOT about the ins and outs of how the whole process of publication works and varies between houses.
But I misunderstood a pretty significant and amazing feature of Kindle Unlimited, which is this: you still get paid for your free days.
Your manuscript is off to your editor, line editor, proofreader or beta readers, so you just wait?
So, you say you’re too busy to market your book? Well, welcome to the club. Most of the authors that I work with have day jobs paired with evenings at home trying to cram in as much marketing as they can after an exhausting day at the office.