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Monday, July 31, 2017

The Shining: The Archive

Yay, it’s my final updated checklist ever!  (Unless I do the TV checklists.  I don’t think I will because those checklists were only slightly updated.  I still may archive them though.)  Unexpectedly, this movie did a pretty terrible job with the checklist, mainly because it kept switching heroes.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Infographic on Theme

Hi, everybody! Before we do the next archive, a reader named Martin Cavannagh asked me share a big infographic he made about Theme. He defines Theme slightly differently than I do, but there’s a lot of good insights here, so I’m happy to share it. Check it out!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The First 15 Minutes Project: The Archive

 So back before the Road Tests of the Ultimate Story Checklist, I had a series where I would go step by step through the first 15 minutes of a film or TV pilot and figure out how they got us on the side of the hero.  Many of these eventually got checklists, but many never did, so they can only be found here (How have I never done The French Connection or The Apartment?) The above graphic is from the fifth piece below where I went through the first four and noticed something: One shortcut to sympathy is to have your white character high-five a black person. 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Problem, Opportunity, Conflict: The Archive

A good series.  I enjoyed making graphics like the one above, and it was a bit of a let-down to realize that none of them were going to make it into the book, but its probably for the best.  It might have made it harder to set up the audiobook.

Monday, July 24, 2017

How to Write a Screenplay in 30 Easy Steps: The Archive

This is obviously a relic from the days when this was pretty much exclusively a screenwriting blog, but this method (which is no longer really my method) could apply to other types of writing as well. I love the comic I chopped up to use as illustrations for this. I totally forget what it was or where I found it...

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Interweaving an Irreconcilable Theme: The Archive

Well, it’s happened again, I went searching for my Theme series only to discover that I never did one!  As with  Dialogue, I apparently just stitched that portion of the Checklist together out of Storyteller’s Rulebook pieces, so I have to dump all my Theme pieces here and let you put it together yourself!

Monday, July 17, 2017

How to Craft Dialogue: The Archive

So, funny story: I go to archive my “How to Write Dialogue” series and discover that it isn’t in the sidebar, which seems weird.  So then I search for it.  It turns out that it doesn’t exist.  Because I never wrote one.  The other six sections of the checklist were based on series I wrote, but I apparently just cobbled together the Dialogue section of the checklist from “Storyteller’s Rulebook” posts I’d written.  So I decide that it’s high time this was in the sidebar, so I make a list of all the posts with a tag that says Dialogue, and I realize that I haven’t been doing this with the other categories, because it’s a ton of work, because I’ve written hundreds of “Storyteller’s Rulebook” posts.  Nevertheless, here you go: I never wrote this series so you get more than you could have asked for:

Thursday, July 13, 2017

How to Structure a Story Around a Big Problem: The Archive

It’s interesting to see how much this all changed on its way into the book:


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

How to Create a Compelling Character: The Archive

Forget what I said yesterday, this is the real backbone of the book.  The introduction of this story became the opening of the book and the conclusion became the conclusion.  This one was calling out for an archive because the original posts were written out of order and re-numbered later, making them a nightmare to read the way Blogger had them sorted.  Lots of interesting stuff here: It’s fascinating how late in the process the Moment of Humanity arrived.  

Monday, July 10, 2017

The Secrets of Story Book Videos: The Archive

Hey guys, I’ve never put my book videos into the sidebar, so here they are! I would love to go back and do some more of these if I get the time (each represents many, many hours of work!)

Video #1 is about how you should let objects do the talking:
Video #2 is about how characters should use tricks and traps:

Video #3 is about creating moments of humanity for your characters. This is the least-watched video, and I suspect that this is because YouTube chose to use a frame from Mean Girls to represent the video, and it thus looks uncool.  It’s good though, and it’s cool, I promise: 

Video #4 is about how to work exposition into your story: