Monday, March 09, 2015

New Story Structure Extras List: The Wizard of Oz

by Alexandra Sokoloff

I'm implementing a subscription list for free Story Structure Extras This is a separate mailing list that will receive free mailings of extras like full movie breakdowns and advance copies of books.

If you'd like to start receiving extras like that, you can sign up here.

If you sign up for the list, you'll only get emails with free materials and news of my new book releases.  If you're already getting news of my new book releases, you won't get double emails. I hate spam as much or more than anyone. (If you do get a double email this month, please let me know and I'll get that resolved - this system is still in beta.)

This month's movie breakdown is The Wizard of Oz. Which is also included in the ten movie breakdowns in my Stealing Hollywood workbook.

STEALING HOLLYWOOD   ebook $3.99, print 15.99

And if you're wondering why I don't just post the full breakdown here on the blog, well, a couple of things.

I've been troubled by the discovery that some people are using this blog and then posting in writing forums or in Amazon reviews things like "You don't need to buy the books, it's all on her blog. Just print it out."

Yes, seriously.

Now, first of all, the Screenwriting Tricks workbooks are written in an order, for a reason.  I've put a LOT of time into structuring the books to take reader/writers through a process that introduces concepts for maximum understanding. Yes, you can get the same information by trawling through this blog, but it's NOT the same as working through one or the other of the books in order.

Second, the workbooks are $3.99.  That's less than a latte at Starbucks. Printing out separate blogs is going to cost you at least ten times that in printer cartridges alone, not to mention the cost of the time it takes to do that. And I, the author, get nothing for it when you do that.

If you don't want to pay it, that's fine, that's why the information is all here on the blog. But when people are going out and telling other people NOT to buy the books because it's all free on the blog, I start to wonder why I'm blogging at all.

There's a serious mental disconnect going on if people who say they want to be authors are taking the information I'm giving them to help them do that - and then sabotaging my living that way.

Karma generally sorts out that kind of behavior. :) And my overwhelming experience with this blog is that you guys are honestly appreciative and generous in your feedback and support.  Not to mention that I learn as much from your comments and questions as you're learning from me.

But it's made me think a little about how to proceed.

I want to do more movie breakdowns - I'd really like to work up to doing one a month. But it's a grueling thing to do.  Every one of them means several weeks of work, on and off, that I don't really have time to do, since my core living is as a thriller writer.

So I'm experimenting, here, and for now the movie breakdowns I do are going to be for this new subscription list, so I know they're going out to people who have at least enough commitment to this blog to subscribe to it.

But I'll be re-posting part of the breakdown here so that people who want to discuss the movie can ask questions in the comments of that post.

As always, all feedback appreciated!

Hope you're enjoying your Spring!  I'm sure we'll get it in Scotland eventually….

-   Alex


All the information on this blog and more, including full story structure breakdowns of various movies, is available in my Screenwriting Tricks for Authors workbooks.  e format, just $3.99 and $2.99; print 15.99.

                                           STEALING HOLLYWOOD

This new workbook updates all the text in the first Screenwriting Tricks for Authors ebook with all the many tricks I’ve learned over my last few years of writing and teaching—and doubles the material of the first book, as well as adding six more full story breakdowns.


STEALING HOLLYWOOD print, all countries 


Writing Love is a shorter version of the workbook, using examples from love stories, romantic suspense, and romantic comedy - available in e formats for just $2.99.

Smashwords (includes online viewing and pdf file)


Barnes & Noble/Nook

Amazon UK

Amazon DE


You can also sign up to get free movie breakdowns here:


Anonymous said...

I for one totally understand where you are coming from. I have learned a lot from your lectures and your screenwriting books. I enjoy your blogs and copy them and they trigger something to search for in the books. Keep up the good work for those of us thirsty for knowledge, and we'll keep buying and spreading the word.

Unknown said...

I just finished reading your Wizard of Oz breakdown, and wanted to say how much I appreciate your taking the time to do those--I've seen that movie a hundred times (and read all of the books in childhood) and still learned new things from your analysis. Thank you!

Alexandra Sokoloff said...

Thank you, Barb! I appreciate it! Always happy to do more.

Alexandra Sokoloff said...

Krist, I see new things every single time I watch this movie. It's infinite!

Louisa Mack said...

Having attended your workshop and used your books for the past couple of years, I can't understand why they wouldn't just pay the few dollars. There's a lot of value in having the book right by you to refer to.
And I love it when you post your analysis of movies because I always learn something more.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the Oz breakdown - I grew up in Kansas so it's always been near and dear to me. One thing I'd love, since you asked for feedback, is to learn more about the thriller genre - kind of like what you did with Writing Love. I'd happily pay good money for a book that shares your insight into thrillers. You've definitely got a terrific grasp of what makes them work, the inner mechanics of the genre and all that. Anyway, that's my two cents. Wish you all the best

Alexandra Sokoloff said...

Thanks, Louisa!!

I'm with you - I don't understand why people go through such hoops to avoid paying so little for something that they would clearly use. We're our own worst enemies, sometimes!

Alexandra Sokoloff said...

John Kaden, everyone wants the book on suspense/mystery/thrillers! I'll be doing more thriller breakdowns this year and starting to grow that book. But it's a long process. Writing these workbooks takes SO much time away from my own novels, which is my main living.

Thanks for the encouragement, though. It helps!

BobBlick said...

They are likely the same people who point out a NF book and say you can get the same information online. Yeah - If you want to spend all your time looking for it. The price of your books for authors are so reasonable it doesn't even make sense to me why people do this other than they don't have much of a life so it makes them feel good. I have purchased one of your writing books (well worth the reasonable price) and tend to buy from those who give you information online because then I know what to expect from the book
plus I always feel guilty reading too much free info from someone and not supporting them. :-)

Laura said...

It would be very helpful if you gave clear directions on how to read your story structure analysis of the Wizard of Oz. I'd be happy to buy an e-book, if I only knew which book it was.

Alexandra Sokoloff said...

Hi Laura - The Wizard of Oz breakdown is in the Stealing Hollywood workbook:

These are the 10 full story breakdowns in that book, plus all kinds of partial breakdowns.

42. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
43. Romancing the Stone
44. Chinatown
45. Groundhog Day
46. The Matrix
47. Sense and Sensibility
48. Sea of Love
49. The Mist
50. The Wizard of Oz
51. Four Weddings and a Funeral