Friday, October 09, 2020

Nanowrimo Prep: free mini-course!

As anyone who's read this blog knows, I do a Nanowrimo Prep series every October to help writers do some planning to get the most ouf of their November writing session. This year I'm going multi-media and doing it as a free mini-workshop on Teachable.com, with videos, assignments, and discussions to help you jump-start the book you're going to write this winter — and sell in the New Year! You can access the course here. Hope you can join!

Friday, August 07, 2020

Elements of Act One: SELMA - New video!

This week I'll go through Act I of SELMA to demonstrate the Story Elements we’ve been talking about, and then do some more general posts on the Elements of Act II before we go on to demonstrate thoses elements in several movies. 

 

Start with the Introduction to SELMA, here:

 

 

 

As we’ve been talking about, movies are traditionally structured in eight 15-minute sequences, for a 2-hour movie. That’s approximate! SELMA’s Sequence One is 16 minutes long.

 

In Act One you will tend to see these Key Elements:

 

Opening Image

Meeting the Hero/ine

The Hero/ine’s Special Skills

The Hero/ine’s Desire

The Opponent and Opponent’s Desire

The Hero/ine’s Ordinary World

The Inciting Incident or Call to Adventure

The Theme

The Stakes

Into the Special World

Introduction to Allies

 

We also may see:

 

Meeting the Mentor

Meeting the Love Interest

Bonding with Allies

Attacks by Opponent

 

SELMA packs a lot of those elements into Sequence One! Let’s see how the filmmakers manage it.

 

SELMA Sequence One video:

 



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                                          STEALING HOLLYWOOD

The workbook is a full course in writing a novel or script in any genre. All the tricks I’ve learned in my years of writing and teaching—includes ten full movie breakdowns.

 


STEALING HOLLYWOOD ebook    $3.99
STEALING HOLLYWOOD print   $15.99







 
WRITING LOVE

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.




Amazon/Kindle
 
Smashwords (includes online viewing and pdf file)

Barnes & Noble/Nook







---------------------

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

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

New Screenwriting Tricks for Authors video: Act I checklist!


From the Calendar of Canceled Cons:

Today I would have been in the Scottish Borders, teaching Screenwriting Tricks for Authors at the Borders Writing Forum. I had other workshops scheduled this year in Ireland, New Zealand, Australia and L.A. That’s a lot to miss out on!

I guess it’s no wonder I started doing videos of the workshop instead.

I’ve just finished the tenth video, an Act One Elements Checklist, and we’ve worked through all the essential story elements of Act I. Each video is just about 10 minutes long, with exercises that will take 15-20 minutes of your time and get you writing that book or script you’ve always wanted to write - and watching great movies that will inspire you to get it done.
At this rate, we’ll all have those books finished in no time!
Even writing full time on the first book in my new series, I’m managing one video a week, with many more to come. There was a steep learning curve with the editing software, and some of the equipment I could really use is still on backorder because of excessive demand in these days of Zoom - everything. Also I was sick for weeks, most likely with the thing, so doing anything productive is a minor miracle.
But I’ve finally realized that getting the workshop fully recorded is like writing a book. You just do one chapter at a time until it’s done. Right? Eventually you reach a state of critical mass where the book is more real than not real, and you can’t imagine not finishing.
Here’s the Introduction:
And here’s the very fevery Lesson #1.
If you’ve been keeping up, here’s the new one, an Act One Elements Checklist.
Each next video should play after the one you’re watching is finished, and these first ten will get you all the way through your own Act I.
This week I’m also sending out a newsletter with a very detailed breakdown of Act I of The Hunger Games, demonstrating all the essential story elements that we’ve been going through. If you’re on my Screenwriting Tricks mailing list you’ll get that automatically. If you get notifications from me through this blog, you may need to sign up for the STFA list to get those bonus materials. Don’t worry, you won’t get double notifications! 
And of course, you can always get the full course from the workbooks, links below! 
In the meantime, stall safe and well! Craig and I are in lockdown in Scotland until the end of the month, when a couple of restrictions may be eased. I’m really grateful to have a First Minister who’s taking all precautions, with empathy and compassion. It makes all the difference in the world.
-        Alex


___________________________________________________________________


                                          STEALING HOLLYWOOD

The workbook is a full course in writing a novel or script in any genre. All the tricks I’ve learned in my years of writing and teaching—including ten full movie breakdowns.

 


STEALING HOLLYWOOD ebook    $3.99
STEALING HOLLYWOOD print   $15.99







 
WRITING LOVE

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.




Amazon/Kindle
 
Smashwords (includes online viewing and pdf file)

Barnes & Noble/Nook







---------------------

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

Monday, May 11, 2020

Writing in Lockdown - Screenwriting Tricks for Authors online



We’ve been in lockdown for six weeks. And that very first week, for some demon - I mean reason -  I almost immediately decided to record my Screenwriting Tricks for Authors workshop in short videos.
Probably because I had several upcoming workshops, more than usual, that were canceled/postponed due to lockdowns in various countries.
Or maybe I just knew deep down that only a pandemic could get me to focus long enough to actually get it done.
I’ve just finished the tenth video, doing one a week, with many more to come. Each is just about 10 minutes long, with exercises that will take 15-20 minutes of your time and get you writing that book or script you’re always wanted to write. Might as well get some great writing out of this!
It’s a lot of work, and I’m writing full-time on the first book in a new series at the same time. There was a steep learning curve with the editing software, and some of the equipment I could really use is still on backorder because of excessive demand in these days of Zoom - everything. 
Also I was sick for weeks, most likely with the thing, so doing anything productive is a minor miracle.
But I’ve finally realized that getting the workshop fully recorded is like writing a book. You just do one chapter at a time until it’s done. Right? Eventually you reach a state of critical mass where the book is more real than not real, and you can’t imagine not finishing.
Here’s the Introduction:

And here’s the very fevery Lesson #1. I should have been in bed!! Even the light looks hot. 
Each next video should play after the one you’re watching is finished.
Hope to see some of you posting in the Comments of the channel! I'm happily incorporating movie requests into the videos.
 And besides that, how's your lockdown going? Really hoping everyone is staying safe and well.
- Alex



___________________________________________________________________


                                          STEALING HOLLYWOOD

The workbook is a full course in writing a novel or script in any genre. All the tricks I’ve learned in my years of writing and teaching—including ten full movie breakdowns.

 


STEALING HOLLYWOOD ebook    $3.99
STEALING HOLLYWOOD print   $15.99








 
WRITING LOVE

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)

Amazon/Kindle

Barnes & Noble/Nook

Amazon UK

Amazon DE


---------------------

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