Quick. Think of several of your favorite characters in books or movies. What makes them stand out to you? Character traits are one thing but focus on those and you just have superficial characters, says screenwriting teacher John Truby.
What grabs viewers and readers most about your character?
1. The fundamental weakness of the character
2. The character’s goal in the story.
If you can create a goal for your hero which forces him or her to deal with their deep weakness, you have the makings of a great story, says Truby.
Learn more in this 3-minute clip.
Just in time for the NaNoWriMo kickoff Nov. 1, I found a series of articles on The Guardian online outlining a six-stage plan for writing a book in 30 days. The series is part of a 32-page supplement delivered free to Guardian readers in its Oct. 20 edition.
The 30-day plan includes handy worksheets and details about:
- Creating setting, plot, outline, and preliminary characters
- Researching your idea Read more
As I’m working on my next manuscript, I have a feeling for the beginning and end of my story but I don’t really know much about that big, sticky, middle section yet. But after reading The Writer’s Guide to Writing Your Screenplay by Cynthia Whitcomb, I’m using a technique she discusses to help me discover more of my story.
Basically, using a stack of 3×5 index cards, you write your working title on one card, Act I, Act II, and Act III on three others, and then write out as many scenes from the beginning and ending that you know you’ll have. Write down the basic information: where, when, and what. Some of these will be “obligatory” scenes, i.e. in a romance story, you have to have a scene where boy meets girls. In a mystery, you have a scene with a dead body. In a thriller, the bad guy is introduced. Read more