Screenwriting Tricks for Authors
how to write a book

SELMA – Act I Story Breakdown

This month, why not celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. and work on your storytelling craft—by watching Selma? We’ve started talking about using Story Patterns (What KIND of Story is It?). In Selma, the filmmakers have chosen the structural form of a War Story and...

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15 Minutes of Writing Per Day Equals a Book

Happy New Year, everyone!! I’ll keep this brief, because I’ve come to believe in easing into the year instead of making frantic pages of resolutions, But how about just this one? I’m going to write on my book or script for 15 minutes a day. When I was teaching dance I...

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Holiday Homework: IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE

I know some of you have heard me talk about this movie before. But I have to repeat it. Because there is something that a whole lot of us do this time of year that we can actually turn into an almost miraculous (as it were) 2 1/2 hour session on writing. We sit down...

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Nanowrimo Now What? – Top Ten Things I Know About Editing

So you did Nanowrimo! Huzzah!! Or maybe you didn’t, but whether you did it through Nanowrimo or not, you now have a rough draft—maybe a very, very, very rough draft— of your book or script. Huzzah!! So now what? First of all, I hope you’ve had a good long break. If at...

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Ten Romantic Movies – to help you write your love story!

Even if you’re not a romance writer, there are very few books or scripts that don’t have love plots, at least subplots—and who doesn’t want to up their love story game? So at this romantic time of year, why not put yourself in the mood for love and in the mood to...

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Groundhog Day for Groundhog Day

Happy New Year, and Happy Year of the Tiger! I’m late getting the year started—Omicron outbreak in the family over Christmas. Hope you all have managed to avoid it!But I always like to celebrate this off-beat holiday with a movie breakdown.As the classic It’s a...

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Nanowrimo — Act II: Part 2 Elements

Nanowrimo Week 3: The Downward Spiral. If you are blazing through #Nanowrimo like a speeding train and are actually working on the third quarter of the story, you have reached what is very often the darkest quarter of your story. And often the muddiest! So let’s try...

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Nanowrimo: MIDPOINT, part 2

Yesterday we talked about general characteristics of a MIDPOINT. Now let's look at some examples.A favorite MIDPOINT of mine (in a masochistic kind of way) is in Brian DePalma’s The Untouchables. It's also a great example of how a main character's PLAN and MAIN STORY...

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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: 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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