February 2nd, 2011

ISeeYou2
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Writing Excuses 5.22: Film Considerations

Writing Excuses 5.22: Film Considerations

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2011/01/30/writing-excuses-5-22-film-considerations/

And special YouTube version at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wJ_3sqyG6g

Key Points: Formulas or patterns can be used for many things IF you understand why they work. Three act structure: introduce characters, setting, and problems. Then add complications. Resolve everything in the climax. If you want your story to map to a 90 minute movie, keep it lean. Know what your story is about, what you are trying to say. Think of a logline/tagline: what is the essence of your story in 8 words? The closer the events of the climax in time, the higher the emotional impact -- don't spread your resolutions out over several chapters, put them all in one. Beware the shootout, the chase, the tail end flurry that's there just to end with a bang. Make sure there is foreshadowing, motivation, and emotional movement, not just fireworks. Give the chicken a reason for crossing the road. Don't settle for a student filmmaker -- check their credits, and get the money up front.
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[Dan] That's true. All right. So we're just going to make Mary do this. Give us a writing prompt.
[Howard] Writing prompt.
[Mary] So your writing prompt... thank you for the warning.
[Dan] That's our favorite thing to do to people.
[Dave] Put you on the spot.
[Mary] Your writing prompt is that you need to come up with a tagline for your novel, your short story, or something that you would like to write but have not yet written. Eight words or less.
[Dan] Sounds good.
[Howard] A tagline. All right. Well, this has been Writing Excuses. Thank you for listening. YouTube fans, let's all camp to the camera and wave. [End of podcast. YouTube continues] Thank you for watching. You're out of excuses. Now go write.
Me typing?
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Writing Excuses Episode 31: talking RPG and game writing with Steve Jackson

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2008/09/07/writing-excuses-episode-31-talking-rpg-and-game-writing-with-steve-jackson/

Key Notes: Tell a good story first, don't try to write for game adaptation. To write game modules or materials, read the website guidelines. The biggest challenge in any writing is clarity, clarity, clarity. Put up signposts and color, and let your GM (or reader) adapt it their own way.
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A number of off-microphone grumbles and sighs finished off the session.
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Writing Excuses Episode 32: Talking Exposition with Patrick Rothfuss

Writing Excuses Episode 32: Talking Exposition with Patrick Rothfuss

from http://www.writingexcuses.com/2008/09/15/writing-excuses-episodes-32-talking-exposition-with-patrick-rothfuss/

Key points: don't start with info dumps. Avoid essays, police artist sketches, thesis statements, repeating. Use three good details, and characters in action. Toss readers into the world, and move the story and the characters forward. Arguments are good. Make every sentence do more than one thing. Give your readers a little tease, then wait. Make the exposition a payoff instead of an entry price.
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Take one thing that's unimportant and explain the heck out of it. Take something else that is very important and don't explain it all.
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Writing Excuses Episode 33: Side Characters

Writing Excuses Episode 33: Side Characters

http://www.writingexcuses.com/2008/09/22/writing-excuses-episode-33-side-characters/

Key points: Give your side characters their own voice, sensible motivation, and unique aspects. Give them a good motivation and make them the center of their own story. If they are too interesting, promote them to a main character or cut them out.
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Writing Prompt [confusion over how to take a side character without having written a main character results in Brandon suggesting]:
  • Brandon: take a side character from the future, bring them back into the past, and write a story about them.
Howard: thank you, and goodnight kids.
Fireworks Delight
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Writing Excuses Episode 34: What the Dark Knight Did Right

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2008/09/29/writing-excuses-episode-34-what-the-dark-knight-did-right/

I'm Brandon, I'm Dan, I'm Howard . . . and I'm Batman
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Writing prompt
Brandon: take an old piece of writing, one that you've been working on in the last year, and take a dialogue scene. Then take each line of dialogue up by half a notch -- make it a little more unexpected, evoke a little more of the character -- but it should mean the same thing.
Howard: crank it all up, but have the dialogue end up in the same place as before.
BrainUnderRepair
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Writing Excuses Episode 35: Voice, Tone, and Style

Writing Excuses Episode 35: Voice, Tone, and Style

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2008/10/06/writing-excuses-episode-35-voice-tone-and-style/

Key points: how do you write so that it is distinctive to you? This is NOT something that a starting writer should worry about too much -- they need to focus on characters, plot, and setting. One stylistic thing for starting writers is to pay attention to using said and asked instead of said-bookisms. Another point (lost in the transcription) was to watch for overuse of very, adjectives, and favorite words. And the main suggestion for developing a style - practice, practice, practice. Find what you're good at and emphasize that, avoid what you're not good at.
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[Brandon] Writing prompt: take a scene -- just a quick scene -- then write it as Dan would write it, then write it as Brandon would write it, and then write it as Howard would write it.
[Dan] should we give them a scene? Maybe the "Luke, I'm your father" scene from Star Wars?
[Howard] no, make it the romantic confession scene from Star Wars Episode Two