Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Gold in Them Notebooks, Part 12: Scriptwriting Tips for Prose Writers

One of the most spirited visiting writer seminars during my MFA was titled Scriptwriting Techniques, with a subtitle something along the lines of: what prose writers can learn from writing for visual media.

Some of the take-away were these questions to ask, particularly at the revision stage and/or when something seems fundamentally wrong about a piece, but the writer can't put a finger on just what it is:
- Did I avoid the climactic moment? Did I avoid all the chaos it would wreak so that I would not have to try to write my way out from there?
- Have I let my characters do unforgivable, wild, unpredictable things?
- Have I plucked out an ugly duckling (a segment of the piece that may at first seem off) instead of leaving it there and seeing what happens? Seeing if it
turns into a swan?
- Have I shown that all of my characters are flawed in some way? (They should be.)
- Is it very clear what the main character wants?

-Jamie Cat Callan, author of The Writer's Toolbox, and French Women Don't Sleep Alone
You can read the other 11 posts featuring the greatest tips, advice, and inspiration I accumulated in my MFA Notebooks, here.

1 comment:

Beverly Patt said...

Just realized yesterday that I have not let the spirits in my story wreak the havoc they are capable of - why?
I think it's what you mention in another post - I haven't fully committed to them. Time to poop or get off the pooper.
Thanks for these great posts!