StoryGene.com is a place where I can share my love of story, story learning, and writing.
[insert sales plug here: “…and maybe sell some books and stories to pay for…”]
I really enjoy the challenge of the tight writing required in screenplay formats. And at the same time I really, really also enjoy the freedom sketches, short stories and novels give a writer to roam a bit more.
I started writing for fun in college and only learned from teachers and the creative writing books they shared with us. Then I started learning by reading other good and great writers. But I really got serious when a friend told me about a screenplay competition. How serious? The competition deadline was about 30 days away. I thought this tight deadline would help me push myself to get something done. And it did, and I did.
I wrote a tolerable screenplay, with a good story, and 97% perfect formatting in 27 days. The first week or so was a bust, reading Syd Fields’ classic book and looking at blank 3×5 cards each with something so very “useful” on them like PP1, PP2, MP, etc. I was lost and thought this is impossible. So I went to Border’s Bookstore and found lightning in a bottle. Bought the bottle and came home and let it out.
I discovered Viki King’s How to Write a Movie in 21 Days: The Inner Movie Method and just knew I was on track because that was about how many days I had left. King’s book gave me much more insight as to what I needed to wrangle onto those blank cards as I built my story.
Skipping, skipping, skipping it’s now 20 years later and I’ve read every screenplay and movie story building book I could get my hands on. I love learning about story as much as creating stories. I’ll be writing about these authors I call Story Masters (Hauge, Snyder, Kitchen, Edson, Schechter, Vogler, Campbell, McKee, Egri, and many more). I’ll write about their writing and how I work with what they teach.
I use Notepad++, Microsoft Word (Office 365), Scrivener, Final Draft, Movie Magic Screenwriter, Celtx, and a few other tools. As I have time I’ll start sharing the templates I’ve built for myself in each tool. Like many people I’ve lined up several of my favorite story master structures in layers and tried to see how they fit, relate and explain and label each structural element using their own terms. Those templates and spreadsheets are fun.
More to come.