Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Storytelling Master is Here to Help

NaNoWriMo Day 11: Now that Stanley Fish has given you the key to conquering sentences, let's talk about the next step in the process, the story. And no one knows story better than Robert McKee. I know what you're thinkg, "Robert McKee is a screenwriting expert. Can he even help me with my novel?" The answer, oh grasshopper, is YES! "How can this be?" You may ask, to which I reply, "Quit asking questions, I'm getting there."

Screenplays are the skeleton structure on which film narratives take shape, they include only the bare bones of the story (plot points, dialogue, and a few descriptions). So, if you can master the structure of your story in terms of a screenplay narrative, you're well on your way to writing a super detailed novel outline. 

In Robert McKee's seminars (an industry must) he provides attendees with the most comprehensive explanation of the craft of writing for the screen. One of the main principles of writing for the screen is "show, don't tell." In a script there are no helpful internal monologues or full paragraphs of explanation to help readers (or audiences) understand your characters, you are forced to rely on the visual; a skill that will take your novel writing to the next level.

If you can't hop on a plane right now and fly to the current Story Seminar, then boy do I have news for you. You can get a copy of Story right here!

This film industry staple will help you learn the ins-and-outs of story construction, style, and the relationship between structure and character that are essential for writing a great narrative. Mastering the craft of great storytelling will transform your work. As McKee puts it "Anxious, inexperienced writers obey the rules. Rebellious, unschooled writers break the rules. Artists master the form."

Now get out there and master the form!

Get your copy of Story here and don't forget to track your progress on our chart. Tweet us at @HarperAcademic (by 12/1) when you've hit 50,000 words for your chance to win a HarperCollins bundle of books!

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