February 6th, 2011

BrainUnderRepair
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Writing Excuses Season Two Episode Six: Endings

Writing Excuses Season Two Episode Six: Endings

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2008/11/16/writing-excuses-season-2-episode-6-endings/

Key points: endings should be satisfying -- fulfill your promises. Fulfill the expectations of the story, break the expectations of the formula. Gather up all the little plot ribbons and tie them in a bow. "I always do have my ending in mind when I start, but I don't always end up with the ending that I started with."
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[Dan] we need a writing prompt. Here's a writing prompt. Take whatever you're working on right now, look at that ending that you've got planned, then think of two other potential endings for that same thing.
[Brandon] and then write all three of them.
BrainUnderRepair
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Writing Excuses 2-7: Using Writing Formulas

Writing Excuses Season Two Episode Seven: Using Writing Formulas With Bob Defendi

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2008/11/23/writing-excuses-season-2-episode-7-using-writing-formulas-with-bob-defendi/

Key points: Formulas are the basic patterns that we use in stories all the time. Cliches are formulas that have been done the same way a million times already. When the formula drives the characters, you have an idiot plot. Throw out your first ideas, because they've been done before -- and around your fourth or fifth idea, you will start to come up with something that will surprise your audience. Let the story flow from the characters. Don't allow your characters to be slaves to plot, make it the other way around.
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[Howard] Tune in next week when you'll hear Bob Defendi say...
[Bob] That's not my thermometer.
BrainUnderRepair
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Writing Excuses Season Two Episode Eight: The Three Act Structure

Writing Excuses Season Two Episode Eight: The Three Act Structure

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2008/12/01/writing-excuses-season-2-episode-8-the-three-act-structure-with-bob-defendi/

Key points: The Three Act Structure: Act I, hero encounters problem; Act II, hero discovers problem is bigger than first thought; Act III, he triumphs anyway. Act I needs to establish the characters and the initial conflict. Act I ends when the main character enters a new world, when the battle is transformed into a war. Act II: try-fail cycles are your friend. Don't forget the twist, and a character hits rock bottom. Kick down the door: any time things are slowing down, it's time for another disaster (a.k.a. mini-climaxes). Act III: monkeys are allergic to cheese, or hidden learning lets the hero win.
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[Dan] This is more of an outlining prompt. So your outlining prompt for this time is to sit down and plot out a very basic Three Act structure either for what you're already working on if it doesn't have one or for an entirely new idea.
[Bob] All right.
 
ISeeYou2
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Writing Excuses Season Two Episode Nine: Romance

Writing Excuses Season Two Episode Nine: Romance

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2008/12/07/writing-excuses-season-2-episode-9-romance-with-dave-wolverton/

Key points: Start with characterization. Fulfill the fantasy of what romance should be like. Tie the conflicts together -- internal development, romance, plot/setting, theme. Make every character the star of their own story. Romance is terrifying, and people stumble through it -- write it that way. Be terrified.
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[Dan] Writing Prompt: your main character walks into a room and sees three people whom he or she could end up with and you don't know which one it will be at this point.
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Writing Excuses Season Two Episode 10: The Boring Parts

Writing Excuses Season Two Episode 10: The Boring Parts

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2008/12/14/writing-excuses-season-2-episode-10-the-boring-parts/

Key points: Write the exciting parts first, then figure out what led to that. Why is this character suffering? Find the most pain. Shake it up -- change point of view, change setting, add a wrinkle, add an interesting side character. And look for the conflict.
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[Howard] Let's move on to a writing prompt.
[Dan] Didn't we already give one?
[Howard] Right. Kill Sauron -- kill the main bad guy in every chapter. Figure out how to do that.