Screenwriting Tricks for Authors

Write your first book—or your best book yet—
using the storytelling tricks of your favorite movies

Nanowrimo: The MIDPOINT

 It’s halfway through the month— but for the vast majority of Nanowrimo writers I would be shocked if you were actually halfway through your book (as opposed to halfway through 50K words!) But it's still a good reason to talk about one of the most important elements...

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Nanowrimo – Act II: Part I Story Elements

The first half of Act Two, which we will call Act II, Part 1 (30-60 minutes in a film, pages 100-200 in a book), is the most variable of the four Acts. Yes, for reasons I go into in my workshops and workbooks, the Three-Act Structure of filmmaking actually has four...

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Nanowrimo: Into the Special World

Whether you’re doing Nanowrimo or not, this is one of the most important scenes of the Act One of any story. We first see the hero/ine of a story in what mythologist Joseph Campbell called the Ordinary World. That world gives us a lot of essential information about...

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Nanowrimo: Inciting Incident

So, Nanowrimo, Week 1! (Or for those of use NOT doing Nano, just another fabulous day doing the best job in the world….) I was thinking about what I could post today that would be of the most use. The best thing about doing Nano is that you write so fast you don’t get...

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Nanowrimo: 10 Key Elements of Act I

Last weekend before Nanowrimo! ! How about a roadmap for your first week? Yesterday I focused on three essential questions to ask yourself about this adventure you and your main character are about to go on. Now let's expand that. Here are Ten Key Story Elements in a...

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Fall in Love with Story Structure!

Yeah, yeah, I know. Some writers freeze at the very word, “structure.” But it’s the easiest, fastest way I know to easier, faster, and more salable writing.So in this Nanowrimo/NO Nano series, of all my Top Tricks to Get Yourself Writing Again, my Trick #1 is:        ...

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Preptober: What Makes a BIG BOOK?

Since fall hit, I am pining for the in-person writing conferences, where on top of every other wonderful thing about writing conferences, every single conversation is just a gold mine in writing and marketing information. For this post I’m specifically thinking of a...

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On Writers Not Writing

I've posted Part 3 of this Is My Story Idea BIG Enough? series today, too. But based on some conversations I've been having, in the workshop and out of it, I also feel the need to post something that you might call an anti-Nanowrimo post. Because the very last thing I...

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Preptober: Is my story idea BIG enough? Part 2

Today, we're going to embrace the business side of writing as part of the idea-finding process. In Part I I was talking especially to the beginning writer. In the beginning, the most important thing is to find an idea that you can finish. But -If you’ve already...

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Preptober: Is my story idea BIG enough?

It’s an important question. Because “Write what you feel like writing!” is a great idea if you’re calm, relaxed, and sure. But maybe not so great if you’re approaching it from a state of panic. And let’s face it. If you want to make money at writing, there are...

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