Secrets of Story Well Told: From Theme to Organic Storytelling (Screenwriting Blue Books)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
A GREAT STORY, WELL TOLD
What are the secrets of good storytelling? Why do some stories flow and others get bogged down in subplots and dead ends? What makes a great story? If you have those dreaded "story problems" this 85,000 word book will help you solve them!
Learn the twelve elements of story: Ideas, Concepts, Conflict, Characters, Plot, Locations, Time, Tone, Genre, and Arena. How each element is critical to building your story, and how a mistake in the choice of any element effects the rest... and may create "story problems".
Using Paul Guay and Stephen Mazur's "Liar Liar" as the primary example, we'll go step-by-step through the construction of a story... and how to tell a story well, why conflict is required, why Story always starts with character... but ISN'T character, Breaking Your Story, Irony, Planting Information, Evolving Story, Leaving No Dramatic Stone Unturned, The Three Greek Unities, The Importance Of Stakes, How to isolate a conflict, your story's theme - and The Thematic Method, and how to create personal stories with blockbuster potential. Ready to tell a story?
About the Author:
William C. Martell has written seventeen produced films for cable and video including three HBO World Premieres, two Made For Showtimes, three CineMax Premieres, two films for USA Network, and many others. Reviewer David Nuttycombe of The Washington Post calls him "The Robert Towne of made for cable movies" and he was the only non-nominated screenwriter mentioned on Siskel & Ebert's 1997 Oscar Special "If We Picked The Winners". He doesn't teach screenwriting, he writes for a living.
The naval warfare action film "Steel Sharks" (HBO) stars Gary Busey and Billy Dee Williams, and was made with the cooperation of the US Navy and Department Of Defense onboard an actual aircraft carrier. "Hard Evidence" (USA) was released to video the same day as Julia Roberts' film "Something To Talk About" and out-rented it, landing at the #7 position nationally while the Roberts' film ended up #8 ("Hard Evidence" was the better reviewed film). Submarine thriller "Crash Dive" (HBO) starred Frederic Forest, and introduced "JAG"s Catherine Bell and Christopher Titus from Fox's sit-com "Titus". "Treacherous" (Cinemax) Starred Tia Carrere, Adam Baldwin and C. Thomas Howell. His family film "Invisible Mom" starring "ET"s Dee Wallace Stone won Best Children's Film at the Santa Clarita Film Festival. Mr. Martell is currently working on several projects for major studios.
makes this one special? What if the rehab center was a huge old mansion that was rumored to be haunted? Or if the mansion was built by an eccentric millionaire and has secret passages and trap doors? Or what of this is the "rehab center of the stars" and our victim and the suspects are all famous? Here's a better idea along those lines - what if it's the rehab center for government employees with Top Secret clearance? We can't have these guys detoxing someplace where they might accidentally spill
in the story, so finding that seed takes us to theme and that shows us all of the possibilities for our story. Our protagonist’s dreams and fears and flaws are the key to who they are... and the key to writing a story about them. Let's have our protagonist wish that he was someone special, not just a guy in a tie. He wishes he was Superman... but that turns into a nightmare when people expect him to actually save the world. 3) Now we're going to find the story that forces them to deal
to solve that conflict is a way to explore the theme. That way, theme can be explored visually - through the actions of the characters. What people *do* - and what does Ted Stryker do in the story? What's the worst that could happen to Stryker in “Airplane!”? - Ted feels responsible for George Zipp's death - and now they want to make him responsible for all of the passengers on a pretty white plane with red stripes and curtains in the windows. What if he kills all of them? He must struggle
traditional mystery or thriller story, you need to know what is at the core so that all of the clues add up. When I write a mystery story I know who the killer is, and that allows me to misdirect the audience while still playing fair and planting clues to the real killer. Plotting works layer by layer. You have to know what’s true at the core and build from there. Starting at the surface usually results in a script that doesn’t make any sense by the time you get to the end. That’s why outlines
Beowulf has a strange dream where the Queen comes to him and demands he give her a son, when he wakes up in the Mead Hall he finds all of his men except Wiglaf dead. Grendel's mother has attacked in the night. Beowulf goes to kill Grendel's Mother, expecting a monster... but discovers that the devil hath the power to assume a pleasing shape. A gold covered Angelina Jolie steps out of the water naked. She seduces him. This is the opposite of what Beowulf expected to happen, and the