Do. You. Sometimes. Break. The. Rules? Avoid delicious adjectives. Use fragments. But sparingly. Double space, include two-inch margins, include name in top right (or was it left?) corner. Number your pages. Send file in PDF or DOC or else. Comedies must have happy endings. Triple check your facts. Do not include voice over in a script. Show, do not tell.
Ensure your writing champions all others in brilliance and brevity, at least as far as this writer is concerned, it is important to connect to your effervescent, colourful, delightful, and intriguing audience using as many tricks as you know how to guarantee that your reader will not be able to take a breath, pause, or reconsider starting your work and leave the page before you have shared all that you need to share. Vary your sentence length. Run-on sentences are not permitted.
Is it possible to write freely? Can I write in a boat floating on a moat, eating oats, wearing haute, and dancing with a goat? Can I tell stories right to left, down to up, out to in? Can I shoot my plot into the air like fireworks at the fair, see where the events dare to land?
She: How did this begin?
He: Poetics. Aristotle.
She: I blame Strunk.
He: White too.
She: And Shakespeare.
He: Muggles! Continue reading
Imagine you are at a dinner party. Someone approaches you and says, “Emma tells me you are writer. What do you write? Have I read your work?”
How do you respond?
“Yes. I’m a novelist.” –or a poet or an author or a playwright or a journalist or a screenwriter or a columnist or a blogger or…
Each response is equally valid. From poetry to personal essay to news story, writers experiment with and utilize various forms. Some writers list poet, playwright, author, and freelance writer in their bios. Each label brings along with it different ideas about the writer and his/her work. A poet will have a great idea for a play and begin the work of learning the form of playwriting. A journalist will awake from a dream with the plot structure of a novel and learn how to write fiction.
Within each form there are sub-forms and genres. Writing a chick-lit novel has different rules than writing a romance novel. Writing a sonnet requires a different understanding of poetic devices than writing a ballad. Writers are sometimes overwhelmed by choice.
This lesson looks at the relationships among the novel, play, screenplay, including adaptations. Some stories work well in all three forms. “The Wizard of Oz”is a popular book, movie, and musical. Have you ever shared an idea for a book with a friend and they responded with “that would make an awesome movie?” Do you ever find it difficult to decide which form to choose for your work? Continue reading