Thursday, March 19, 2015

Scottish Association of Writers - Story Structure workshop

I'm at the Scottish Association of Writers conference the weekend of March 26-28, as the keynote speaker and teaching a Screenwriting Tricks workshop.

Here are the questions I always ask workshop attendees to answer when I teach -  for those attending, or for anyone who wants to play along with the workshop at home! Hopefully all you blog regulars have done this already, but it's always good to do it for each new project:

The whole principle of what I teach is that we learn best from the storytellers and stories (in any medium) that have most inspired us, and that we as authors can learn a whole new dimension of storytelling by looking specifically at films that have inspired us and that are similar to what we're writing. So here are a few questions/exercises to get you thinking along those lines:

     1. Tell me what genre you're writing in.

     2. Make a list of ten movies and books - at least five movies - that you feel are similar in genre and structure to your work in progress or story idea (or if you don’t have a story idea yet, ten movies and books that you WISH you had written!)

     3. Write out the premise of your story. If you're unclear on what a premise sentence is, here's a practical explanation with examples.


     4. And it can't hurt to review the Three-Act Structure.  But we'll be going over all of this in class!

If you're new to this blog, you can take a browse through the Table of Contents.

And if this way of looking at story appeals to you, 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.  Any format, just $3.99 and $2.99.



Amazon US

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Amaxon DE

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Amazon IT


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.


Smashwords (includes online viewing and pdf file)

Amazon US

Barnes & Noble/Nook

Amazon UK

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