Sunday, April 1, 2012

Spring Intensive :: LARRY BROOKS Sunday session

Highlights from Larry Brooks' 101 Slightly Unpredictable Tips for Novelists and Screenwriters


·         Listen to music as you write – pick something that matches the mood of the scene you are writing.

·         Reverse engineer an existing story you like. Break it down and see how it works. See what the plot points were, what the context of the four points were. Use this to create a generic workable sequence.

·         Name your characters after real people who represent what you are going for. Then when you are done, do a search and change the name to the character name.

·         If you are stuck, verbalize your story to a friend. You will find yourself working through the story problem as you explain it.

·         Study screenwriting books if you are a novelist, study novel writing books if you are a screenwriter.

·         Play what if with your initial idea and see where it takes you.

·         Imagine your story as a movie. Attach actors and movements, soundtracks and scenes.

·         Write the outline of your story as a movie template. It will make you stick to the arc of your story.

·         Even though you haven’t written it yet, write a book review of your own novel. What you want to be strong about your story will emerge on that page.

·         Get rid of all the adjectives you can

·         Stop reading writing blogs and books. There is contradictory advice. Some writers don’t write, they just read about writing.

·         Listen to song lyrics. You can pluck out great book titles.


Subtext – read between the lines. A lot like theme. It will happen whether you want it to or not, so be in control of the subtext and leverage its power to make your story more potent. It is the story not being spoken of in the moment. The reader knows something one of the characters does not know.
Economy and social environment is subtext for the decisions characters make and connects to the fa├žade they put on. Subtext adds texture and richness to the arena and depth to your characters.

Dialogue – don’t ever use the other characters name in dialogue when they are talking to one another. It leaps off the page and screams amateur. You can do it in greetings, but avoid it elsewhere. Never combine separate pieces of dialogue in one paragraph.
When looking at a scene and trying to layer in the psychology of a character, think of the four Rs Resentment. Resistance. Revenge. Resolution.
Any form of negative emotion has resentment attached to it.
4 quadrants of social style
Analyzer, supporter, organizer, controller
CONTROLLER
(Feels & Acts)
“Fun”

SUPPORTER
(Feels)
“Friendship”
Caregiver
ORGANIZER
(Thinks & Acts)
“Results”

ANALYST
(Thinks)
“Precision”

2 comments:

Melissa McClone said...

Thanks for the great recaps of all the workshops, Jenna!

Terri Reed said...

Yes, thank you Jenna for all of this. Very helpful.