Wednesday, May 29, 2013

E Publishing: Where Do I Start?


I’m gearing up for possibly my favorite teaching gig, a week-long workshop at the West Texas A&M Writers Academy. It’s the only actual writing workshop I do all year, because it’s so well-run and the conditions are so perfect for real work to get done. There are only fifteen students allowed in the class, for one thing, and I can do anything I want, always a plus. The first day I do my regular Screenwriting Tricks for Authors workshop on story structure, and then each day we work through ALL the students’ stories, all the elements of each act, one act per day. It works like a charm, no matter where the students are in their writing process.  I’m very excited about launching into it again. I may even get some work done myself, on Book 3 of the Huntress Moon series.

This year the organizers have also asked me to teach an e publishing workshop, which means I can cover a lot of bases at once by doing some writing about it here, since I promised to do that for you all anyway.  (I love it when work lines up like that!)

And the question I get most often about e publishing is - 

“Where do I START?”

Selling a book in the e publishing world has just as many steps and pitfalls as going the traditional route. Even though in the early days of e pub a few people got lucky by just throwing a book up on KDP simply because there was so little competition out there, that was a whole maybe two years ago, and those days are over. The competition is fierce. There’s no question that launching into e publishing without having a clue what you’re doing is not going to get you very far.

On the other hand, there is no way to learn this stuff without being hands-on about it.

There are other resources I'll be posting for you, but it’s tempting to just say: Go read Joe Konrath’s  Newbie’s Guide to Publishing blog, in reverse order, from 2006 on. And maybe that is the best advice I could possibly give. Then you’d get it all as it actually unfolded from the actual leader of the revolution. I should actually take that advice myself, but, you know, the time thing.

It is a lot to sort through (and for God’s sake, if you do it, don’t get lost in the Comments!).

But there’s something even more basic that you need to do if you are thinking of e publishing.

Get an e reader. And USE it.

I have to say that because it is astonishing to me when I hear authors talking about e publishing who don’t even read on an e reader.  Reading an e book on your laptop or phone is not going to do it. You will fool yourself that you get it when actually you don’t have a clue. There is NO WAY you are going to understand the incredible sea change that has occurred if you are not using the technology and understanding why and how readers are buying. You can’t. And I think once you’ve experienced the thrill of having an entire library in the palm of your hand, the delicious indulgence of being able to download ANY BOOK YOU WANT, INSTANTLY, you’ll understand why this is the greatest invention since the wheel, and why as an author OF COURSE you want to make your books available this way.

Which e reader? No contest. If you’re an author looking to make a living, you must get and understand a Kindle. I'm sorry if there are people who don't like that answer but that IS the answer. I do not know of one author who is making a living at self-publishing who is not doing it primarily through the Amazon platform. And all the authors I know who are making good money on Nook and Kobo sales launched themselves with Amazon.  I’m being basic here and that is as basic as it gets.

An e reader is easy to operate, you’ll see. So once you have one, what you want to do is start buying books. Or sampling them, it doesn’t matter, and sampling is totally free (Sampling: in the Amazon store, you can download several chapters of any book to your Kindle for free. If you do not have an Amazon Store account, you need to set one up. It's easy.).  Sampling is an important thing to learn – among other things it will teach you volumes about your own writing, and what has to go in your FIRST CHAPTERS).  But it’s also a no-cost way to learn the device and experience e reading.

You want to sample books that are in your own genre, and you want to sample a lot of self-published books as well as traditionally published books . The 99 cent ones (brace yourself...) the $2.99 ones, the $3.99 ones, and the $9.99 and yike, $12.99 traditionally published ones.  Try authors you haven’t heard of whose books sound interesting. (Don’t forget Huntress Moon, Blood Moon, or any of the fine titles you can simply click through to sample if you just look to the right of this blog...).

Take an hour or two and download and read twenty samples in a row, and take notes. Did you want to keep reading at the end of the sample, or could you not get through it at all?  Is there a difference between 99 cent books, $2.99 ones, $3.99 ones, and the $9.99 or $12.99 ones put out by traditional publishers?  If there is a difference, what IS the difference?  Would you pay $12.99 for an e book? If so, which authors would you pay it for, and which wouldn't you?

Wade into the market and see what’s out there. Get the lay of the land, and ask questions here. 

So there, I’ve given you a couple of practical tasks that will get your feet wet.

You didn’t think you were going to learn this overnight, did you?

I hope not. Get a grip.  E publishing is a full-time job, just like traditional publishing is. But if you don’t start now, a year from now you’ll still be asking, “Where do I start?”

- Alex


Huntress Moon,  $3.99





A driven FBI agent is on the hunt for that most rare of all killers:
a female serial.





Blood Moon, on sale now:  99 cents

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Huntress Moon, FREE today! Blood Moon 99 cents!


I know, lots of giveaways this month, but IF you don't already have it you can pick up Huntress Moon today for free.  And if you do have it, feel free to share!   


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FBI Special Agent Matthew Roarke is closing in on a bust of a major criminal organization in San Francisco when he witnesses an undercover member of his team killed right in front of him on a busy street, an accident Roarke can't believe is coincidental. His suspicions put him on the trail of a mysterious young woman who appears to have been present at each scene of a years-long string of "accidents" and murders, and who may well be that most rare of killers: a female serial.

Roarke's hunt for her takes him across three states...while in a small coastal town, a young father and his five-year old son, both wounded from a recent divorce, encounter a lost and compelling young woman on the beach and strike up an unlikely friendship without realizing how deadly she may be.

As Roarke uncovers the shocking truth of her background, he realizes she is on a mission of her own, and must race to capture her before more blood is shed.


- An ITW Thriller Award Nominee for Best Original E Book Novel
- A Suspense Magazine Pick for Best Thriller of 2012

"This interstate manhunt has plenty of thrills... Sokoloff's choice to present both Roarke's and the killer's perspectives helps keep the drama taut and the pages flying."   -- Kirkus Reviews


(I know, I'm sorry, exclusive to Amazon for the first three months.  It's the financial reality of it.  But you  know me - if it's a Nook or Kobo version you need, just e mail me at AXSokoloff  AT  aol  DOT  com and I will get either or both books to you!).



Also today, Book II in the Huntress/FBI series, Blood Moon, is just 99 cents.

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Twenty-five years have passed since a savage killer terrorized California, massacring three ordinary families before disappearing without a trace.

The haunted child who was the only surviving victim of his rampage is now wanted by the FBI  for brutal crimes of her own, and Special Agent Matthew Roarke is on an interstate manhunt for her, despite his conflicted sympathies for her history and motives.

But when his search for her unearths evidence of new family slayings, the dangerous woman Roarke seeks - and wants - may be his only hope of preventing another bloodbath.


I've been absent from this blog because I've been doing so many interviews and guest posts about the book. I think one of the most interesting ones is this:

Ten Things You Didn't Know About Being a Published Author

- I also encourage anyone interested in e publishing to check out my guest post on Joe Konrath's 

Newbie's Guide to Publishing (and everything else on the blog). I'll be doing my own posts about it here, as well.

- Another very thorough interview on The Book Nympho, talking about the Huntress series and all kinds of other stuff.... Jonetta always has the BEST questions!

- I thought there were some interesting questions in this She Writes interview. The last one kind of threw me!

- And another general interview on process.

- Alex

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Sense and Sensibility breakdown, continued (Act 1, Act II:1)

Whew, hectic few days! I haven't had even a second to pull together a marketing blog so I'm continuing  my Sense and Sensibility breakdown instead.

Just a couple of things first -

- I did a guest post on Joe Konrath's Newbie's Guide to Publishing that is worth checking out, I think!

- I am on The Book Nympho today talking about the Huntress series and all kinds of other stuff.... Jonetta always has the BEST questions!

- I am on Authors on the Air today at 4 pm PST, 7 pm EST, talking with Pam Stack about probably just about everything!  You can call in in you want to chat:

- Huntress Moon is still on sale for 99 cents, today and tomorrow.  (Again, if you need a different e format, let me know.)



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And now, here's the movie - I put Act I and Act II, Part 1  together in this post so you have the whole first half of the movie in one place.


Sense And Sensibility


Screenplay by Emma Thompson
From the novel by Jane Austen
Directed by Ang Lee

Starring Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman and Kate Winslet
1995
Running time 136 minutes















Ah, now this is a love story: a classic book and a perfect adaptation. There’s real emotion, real chemistry, fun comedy, real hope and fear all the way through; the story puts us through the emotional wringer, plunging us to the depths and lifting us back up to the heights. Get out the Kleenex and let’s see what we can learn from this gem.

I am going to start with some general notes first — some things I suggest you look for as you’re watching this film — particularly in terms of THEME, HOPE, FEAR and STAKES.

Some writers who take my workshops and read my blog complain about the films I use for examples of story elements and structure. I’m particularly apt to use Thomas Harris’s Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs — to the horror of some romance writers who wouldn’t be caught dead (sorry, I’ll stop now) reading those books. But I always try to get writers to understand that they can learn just as much from stories outside their own genre, because the elements of story — and suspense — are the same no matter how many bodies are or are not falling or how many creatures are or are not lurking in the basement.

            Personally, I find serious horror in Sense and Sensibility  (and any Austen book), and it’s not a horror of romance, either. I am, however, horrified at the Netflix description of the film as “Austen’s classic tale of 19th century etiquette.” This story is more about monsters in the basement than it is about etiquette.

            Actually, it is about an evil much bigger than a monster in the basement, and if you ask me, the fact that that monster is lurking under the romance and comedy is what makes this story a masterpiece.

ACT ONE

            Just wanted to note for the filmmakers among you that the credits sequence is just titles on black, with period music underneath. This is a technique often used with period films, I think used deliberately to slow the audience down and put them squarely in another time. Music is a pure time machine from — or to — the period it was written; it works on us in a way that no visual or dialogue ever could.

PROLOGUE

            I would say that the first short sequence (4 min.) is a prologue — and a hugely important one.

            The film opens at the deathbed of Mr. Dashwood, the father of our not-yet-seen heroines. Mr. Dashwood has called in John Dashwood, his son from a previous marriage, to whom Mr. Dashwood’s entire fortune and houses will pass under the law of primogeniture, which bars women from inheriting property and keeps both the patriarchy and the aristocracy intact by mandating that family fortunes pass undivided to the eldest son of a family, with only minimal livings carved out for any remaining male children.

            Before he dies, Dashwood extracts a promise from John that he will take care of the present Mrs. Dashwood and her three daughters, Elinor, Marianne, and Margaret, who by this law of primogeniture are only allowed to inherit 500 pounds. (THE DEATHBED PROMISE, in this case, promptly broken.)

            John’s original intention is to give the Dashwood women, his stepmother and stepsisters, an additional 3000 pounds so they can live comfortably on the interest, but in the course of a carriage ride up to Norland Park, where John and his wife will take over the Dashwood house, John’s harridan of a wife, Fanny, whittles weak-willed John’s gift down to nothing at all: “Twenty pounds here and there should be ample. What would four women need with more than 500 pounds?”

            (Also in this carriage ride, John also voices the FEAR that Marianne will lose her bloom and end up a spinster like Elinor.)

            This series of scenes is a beautiful — and outwardly funny — dramatization of greed in action, and Fanny makes a detestable villain. But more importantly, the scenes introduce the real villain of the story, and every Austen story: primogeniture, which kept the rich superrich, the poor practically or literally indentured as servants to the rich, and women enslaved to men, for centuries.

            Stylistically, Jane Austen was writing comedies, but the stories are built on social outrage, and I believe it’s that canny blend that made and keeps these books classics.

            So the death of Mr. Dashwood, and the Dashwood women’s subsequent disinheritance, is the INCITING INCIDENT. (4:30)

            One more note as you’re watching this film: pay special attention to how the storytellers use weather to create mood and emotion, and also pay attention to the set decoration: the paintings on the walls behind the characters constantly comment — often hilariously — on the story and themes.

SEQUENCE ONE:

            The whole next sequence is very filmic, played at first almost as a montage, with fast cuts between extremely short scenes. We are introduced to the extremely sympathetic Dashwood women: Mrs. Dashwood, Elinor, Marianne and 11-year old Margaret, as they are reduced to guests in their own house in the midst of their deep grief over the loss of their husband and father. While Fanny steamrolls through the house claiming everything in it as her own, the Dashwood women scramble to find other living arrangements on their tiny inheritance.

These are great character introductions to Elinor and Marianne, Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet. The filmmakers deftly find comedy even in this tragic situation, eg. Elinor’s first line to Marianne as Marianne plays the world’s most doleful dirge on the pianoforte: “Would you play something else, dearest? Maman has been weeping all morning.”

            I see this movie as having a dual protagonist, even though Elinor is clearly the more dominant one and the point of view character. But Austen, and Thompson in the adaptation, are using the sisters to demonstrate a theme: literally, sense and sensibility. At the beginning of the story the sisters are out of balance: Elinor is all sense and Marianne all sensibility (passion). By the end of the story (and partly through the crucible of love), they have each gained some of what the other has, to make both of them more fully realized women.

            This is what you could call a “character cluster,” like the three-brother or three-sister structure you often see, especially in stories with a fairy tale structure like the Harry Potter books/films. If you’re thinking about writing a dual protagonist, this is an excellent example to study.

            Note also the restatement of THEME when Margaret asks Elinor why John and Fanny are coming to take over Norwood when they already have a house of their own. Elinor tells Margaret, “Houses go from father to son. It's the law.” That extra emphasis on how this is the law makes it very clear what the problem is, and keeps this societal FORCE OF ANTAGONISM very present in the story.

            Now, enter Edward Ferrars, Fanny’s intelligent but very reserved brother, Hugh Grant at his diffidently charming best. (The scenes become longer here.) Edward’s formal bow, and the Dashwood women’s polite curtseys in return, become a RUNNING GAG in the film (a running gag is a staple of comedy). Each time the action stops as Edward does his best at this bow, but there’s something always just a little off about the timing.

            Marianne wants to hate him, especially because Fanny has kicked Margaret out of her own room to give her brother the best view in the house, but Edward has already noticed the offense and quietly moved himself to a guest room.

            Edward instantly understands the pain of the Dashwoods’ circumstances, bonds with and draws out youngest daughter Margaret, and falls hard — albeit reservedly — for kindred soul Elinor. In a beautiful scene in the library, Edward and Elinor coax Margaret out from where she has been hiding under a table by pretending ignorance of the source of the Nile, and we see that Edward and Elinor are perfectly, beautifully matched: intelligent, witty, sensitive, kind, and off-the-wall. They are at their most charming when they’re together. This is a common and I think crucial scene in any romance or romantic subplot —THE DANCE — where we see that two people are perfect for each other. So much more meaningful than “meet cute”!

            And this scene gives us our great HOPE for Elinor: that she has found the great love of her life and they will make a true, encompassing marriage. It’s also, I would say, her CALL TO ADVENTURE (separate from the INCITING INCIDENT) — meeting her true love.

            But there’s more to this than love. In her circumstances, Elinor’s life and her family’s lives depend on her making a good marriage, because women are prohibited from earning an income. A happy marriage to a well-off man is the dream, the best possible outcome — but the stakes couldn’t be higher, and Elinor’s situation is more than tenuous; she has not the slightest power over her future except to marry. So this is the unstated but clear PLAN: to marry for love and secure the family’s future. (15 min.)

            We see the couple’s feelings deepen when Edward catches Elinor crying as she listens to Marianne play their father’s favorite song on the piano. He gives her his handkerchief (which becomes what Joseph Campbell calls a TALISMAN: a significant object for a character, like Luke Skywalker’s light saber and Harry Potter’s — well, lots of things, but the cloak of invisibility, the Nimbus 2000, etc.).

            The ANTAGONISTS, Fanny and Mrs. Ferrars (Fanny and Edward’s mother), immediately go about preventing this match. (Mrs. Ferrars is never physically present, only offstage, but very present in the form of the threat of disinheriting Edward if he makes an “unworthy marriage.”) (18 min.)

            The Dashwood women receive an offer of a cottage in Devonshire for minimal rent from Mrs. Dashwood’s wealthy cousin, Sir John, but Mrs. Dashwood has seen the “attachment” forming between Elinor and Edward and tells Marianne that they will put off the move. (Look at the painting of a man on the wall right behind Mrs. Dashwood as we see her thinking this over: it’s almost like a comic book bubble showing her thoughts. This is the PLAN — to give Elinor opportunity to engage with Edward, to make a happy marriage but also secure the family fortune.)

            You could say that there is one long sequence here at Norwood (from 4:30 to 26 minutes), but you could also say it’s two sequences. This is where I would say it breaks, at 19 minutes.

SEQUENCE TWO

            Edward and Elinor spend more time together and continue to fall in love; this is accomplished in an amazingly short amount of film time.

            The horseback riding scene is especially interesting thematically: Elinor states plainly "We (women) have no choice of any occupation whatsoever. You will inherit your fortune, we cannot even earn ours." But we also see that Edward is constrained by the threat of complete disinheritance if he does not make a career and a marriage that his mother approves of. The scene also shows that these two can talk honestly of deep issues.

            We also see another antagonist to the match: Marianne, who thinks that Edward is not passionate enough for Elinor, and that Elinor’s feelings are too tepid to be real love.

            When Marianne asks Elinor how she feels about Edward, Elinor says that she greatly esteems him. Marianne chides her for being so dispassionate. (Settting up ELINOR’S CHARACTER ARC: Elinor is not completely honest about her feelings, which will get her into trouble down the road.)

            In another scene, Marianne asks their mother: "Can he love her? To love is to burn, to be on fire." Marianne just comes right out and says what she believes, and this sets up Marianne’s CHARACTER ARC. There’s also some FORESHADOWING and FEAR for Marianne here when her mother replies that Marianne’s passionate role models Juliet and Heloise made “rather bad ends.”

            But despite her objections, Marianne says she will support her sister’s wishes with her whole heart.

            Meanwhile evil Fanny actively works to thwart the relationship by telling Mrs. Dashwood that their mother has made it clear she will disinherit Edward should he marry beneath his station. (22 min)

            It’s a devastating move because we are already so invested in Elinor and Edward’s love — and oh, do we hate Fanny. There are also two PLANTS here: that Edward will in fact be disinherited, and that he is too much of a gentleman ever to go back on a promise, which will become very significant later.

            At dinner, Mrs. Dashwood announces they will leave immediately for her cousin's estate. (NEW PLAN.)

            The next day Edward finds Elinor in the stable, saying goodbye to her horse, which the family cannot afford to keep. (Horses are a classic symbol of perverse sexuality, so this is a sly hint of Edward’s youthful romantic liaison that we will learn about — not here, but eventually.) Edward says that he must speak to Elinor, which we and Elinor think will be a marriage proposal. Instead Edward tells a rambling story of his early education under the tutelage of Mr. Pratt (PLANT), and before he can get to the point, Fanny races in telling him their mother needs him immediately back at the family home. Edward obeys Fanny (JUST SAY SOMETHING, STUPID!), and the Dashwoods move from their home to a cottage on the estate of Mrs. Dashwood’s wealthy cousin, without a marriage proposal from Edward to Elinor.  (26 min.)

CLIMAX SEQUENCE TWO

(As I said, you could call that all one long sequence.)

SEQUENCE THREE: (27 min. to 45 min.)

            This sequence sets up Marianne’s story, as the first sequence, or two sequences, set up Elinor’s.

            The Dashwoods arrive at Barton Cottage, their new, much smaller home (but I’d still take it any day!) with gorgeous shots of the Devonshire countryside. (CROSSING THE THRESHOLD and INTO THE SPECIAL WORLD.)

            They are heartily welcomed by the crass, noisy, but warm-hearted Sir John and his mother-in-law, wealthy Mrs. Jennings, surrounded by their pack of dogs (dogs are a classic symbol of the id and instincts, here run rampant). These are ALLIES, and Mrs. Jennings is also the MENTOR/FAIRY GODMOTHER. There’s a great moment when Margaret says later that she likes Mrs. Jennings because “She talks about things. We never talk about things.”

            They settle into their new life: Elinor struggles to make ends meet for the family and secretly pines for Edward (though she tells her mother that it’s more sensible to be practical about the barriers to Edward marrying a woman without a dowry. Again, Elinor’s character WEAKNESS — she’s practical against the wishes of her own heart.)

            Fiery Marianne catches the eye of Sir John’s good friend, the county’s most eligible bachelor, wealthy and cultured Colonel Brandon (a completely dreamy Alan Rickman). (Just a quick aside — look at the paintings of dogs behind Sir John and Mrs. Jennings in this scene as they tease Elinor.) Marianne scorns Brandon’s attentions, dismissing him as too old (he’s 35 in the book). Brandon is a perfect gentleman (and like Edward, very charming and attentive to young Margaret, a CLUE). Elinor likes him, but is not immediately won over. And Alan Rickman is great casting, here; he so often plays villains that there’s an ambiguity about his performance which keeps us in suspense about whether or not he’s a good man, and right for Marianne — after all, marrying for money often leads to tragedy.

            Elinor asks Mrs. Jennings about Brandon and Mrs. Jennings tells Elinor that Brandon has a tragic past: as a youth he fell in love with his father's young ward, and the family broke up the lovers by sending Brandon away to the military and turning the girl out of the house. She was “passed from man to man” and when Brandon returned from the West Indies he searched for her and found her dying in a poorhouse.

            This is our FEAR for Marianne, and it’s a big one. In Austen’s time “ruin” for women meant prostitution and the attendant poverty and syphilis – the worst possible life.

            Mrs. Jennings’ unsubtle matchmaking turns Marianne away from Brandon. Instead she falls hard for the young, handsome and dashing Willoughby, whom she meets in a stormy romantic scene on a moor right out of Wuthering Heights (SETPIECE). Willoughby also seems very well-fixed financially (set to inherit an older relative’s nearby estate) and outspokenly shares Marianne’s passion for poetry and music. Mrs. Dashwood and Margaret are instantly charmed; Marianne is openly adoring. Elinor, though, has doubts …

CLIMAX OF ACT ONE - (45 minutes into a 2-hour, 15-minute film)

            There’s HOPE but also FEAR, here — I felt Willoughby was a bit over the top in a way that might backfire badly — might even lead to her “ruin.” Plus — this guy over Alan Rickman? I think not. Still, what I love about this casting and characterization is that he seems a good match for Marianne; it’s a legitimate romantic dilemma, and keeps us in SUSPENSE about which is the right man for her.

ACT II, PART 1

SEQUENCE FOUR

           
Willoughby and Marianne begin a very unrestrained courtship, including going on reckless carriage rides with no chaperone, which worries Elinor, but Marianne says if she had more shallow feelings, she could conceal them as Elinor does.  (Working the THEME of SENSE AND SENSIBILITY)
           
           
Brandon comes to invite the Dashwoods to a picnic; Marianne will not say yes until Brandon invites Willoughby as well, when he comes to pick up Marianne for another carriage ride. After she leaves, Brandon tells Elinor that Marianne is completely unspoiled. Elinor confesses that she’d prefer that her sister become acquainted with the ways of the world. Brandon becomes quite agitated and counters that he once knew someone like Marianne and when she become acquainted with the ways of the world, she was ruined. (Our FEAR for Marianne.)

            THEME: We see that Brandon’s life has also been devastated by this romance which his parents would not allow — because of, of course, money.

            At the picnic, a messenger comes with a letter for Brandon and he takes off immediately for London, clearly very troubled (PLANT). Willoughby entertains the Dashwood women by making fun of Brandon’s stiffness; even Elinor has to laugh. (A great scene to keep up the suspense about which man is right for Marianne.)

           
Willoughby asks to speak to Marianne alone the next day, and the entire Dashwood family assumes he is going to propose. But when the family returns from church, expecting to find Marianne engaged, Marianne is weeping and refuses to tell the family what happened. Willoughby leaves abruptly, saying that he doesn't know when he'll return. Mrs. Dashwood tries to think the best of Willoughby, but Elinor knows something is wrong, Willoughby is acting guilty. At the end of the scene, all the Dashwood women go to their rooms in tears except for Elinor, who sits on the stairs drinking tea as sobbing comes from every door around her. (A nice comic moment; Lee is always so aware of his genre.)

SEQUENCE FIVE

            Mrs. Jennings' daughter Charlotte arrives from London with a young friend named Lucy Steele. This is also the beginning of an excellent comic subplot with Mrs. Jennings’ twit of a daughter and her bitter husband, Hugh Laurie in a wonderful performance — and a great character arc, as his true colors come out later. It’s not just comedic; it’s another variation on the theme of how marrying for money destroys lives, men’s as well as women’s.

            Lucy tells Elinor that she's been eager to meet her, she’s heard so much about her. While the ladies are playing cards, Lucy pulls Elinor aside and swears her to secrecy as she confides that she's been secretly engaged to Edward Ferrars for five years. (PAYOFF of Edward’s interrupted story in the stable.) Lucy makes Elinor promise not to tell a soul, but she wanted Elinor to know because Edward thinks of Elinor as a sister. Lucy is obviously (to the audience) trying to get rid of Elinor, her competition, but Elinor is shattered (remember the SETUP that Edward is too honorable to ever go back on a promise of engagement). This is a huge REVELATION which completes this DOUBLE MIDPOINT – devastation for both sisters, but particularly for Elinor.

            As Elinor reels from this blow, Mrs. Jennings invites Marianne, Elinor and Lucy to London with her to London for “the season” with the intent to marry them off. (This is RECALIBRATION: a NEW PLAN.) Marianne is thrilled because she'll be able to contact Willoughby. (PLAN and HOPE.)

(1 HR. 11 MINUTES  - eleven extra minutes in the first half, but that’s proportionate for a 2 hr. 15-minute movie.)


=====================================================

Many more story breakdowns available in my writing workbooks, Screenwriting Tricks for Authors and Writing Love, Screenwriting Tricks for Authors, II.  Any format, just $3.99 and $2.99.




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If you're a romance writer, or have a strong love plot or subplot in your novel or script, then Writing Love: Screenwriting Tricks II is an expanded version of the first workbook with a special emphasis on love stories.


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