19 November 2007

"On Writing Over @ Plot Monkeys"

I’m feeling the heat of my deadline and the holiday craze. Yiiikes.

Today I’m going to direct you Ally Carter’s guest blog over at Plot monkeys. Ally shares 10 tips on A MOVIE LOVER’S GUIDE TO WRITING NOVELS. All great points about comparing script writing and novel writing. Ally gets into more detail in the comments.

Here’s a snippet:

4. Show don’t tell–This term is frequently used by screenwriters, but novelists keep it in mind too. In fact, it’s probably easier for a screenwriter to see and fix this problem. With novels, everything is technically “told”. What the adage is getting at, however, is our tendency to do the audience’s work for them.

Don’t TELL the reader, “Gloria had a bad day thanks to a rumor started by her ex-best friend who had recently stolen Gloria’s husband.” Instead, SHOW Gloria kicking a potted plant or slamming a door. Movie makers know that audiences only know what they see with their eyes and hear with their ears. If more novelists would keep that in mind, I think we could finally put the “show don’t tell” problem to rest.

5. Stories are ultimately a string of scenes. George Lucas has said that a great film is simply sixty great two minute scenes. Jack Nicholson has said that he’ll do any movie where his character has three great scenes and no bad scenes.
So, what are your three great scenes? Does all of your story take place within the context of a scene? If not, you may need to revisit number five above.

Check it out!